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VIEDA’s Enterprise Zone Commission to Host Open House

EZC, other VIEDA representatives to highlight their programs, services 
during Carnival Food Fair to help V.I. residents rehabilitate properties, 
revitalize neighborhoods, explore business opportunities on St. Thomas 

CHARLOTTE  AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – April 16, 2013 – Percival E. Clouden, Chief Executive Officer of the V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), announces that the Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC), a division of the VIEDA, will host an Open House on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the VIEDA’s St. Thomas office located directly behind the former Grand Hotel at 5055 Norre Gade.   This event will be held for the general public along with owners of residential and commercial properties in the enterprise zones of Savanne & Downstreet, Gardenstreet & Upstreet on St. Thomas.  

The Open House will be held during the St. Thomas Carnival Food Fair to encourage everyone, including returning V.I. residents, who own properties within the zones on St. Thomas to seek assistance from the EZC. The Enterprise Zone program was created to rehabilitate properties and revitalize designated “blighted” and “severely distressed” areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.   

Free workshops will also be held during the Open House for new and existing owners of small to large businesses on programs and services offered by the VIEDA’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), Small Business Development Agency (SBDA), and the Government Development Bank (GDB). 

According to VIEDA’s CEO Percival E. Clouden, “Every year, the EZC utilizes this opportunity to host an Open House during one of St. Thomas’ most popular Carnival events, particularly to attract returning V.I. residents to all of our programs, especially the programs that can help them rehabilitate their properties in our historic towns on St. Thomas.  Revitalization of our ‘blighted’ and ‘severely distressed’ areas is extremely important for economic development, our community as a whole, and the future generations of our Territory.”

In more than five years, the number of enterprise zone beneficiaries of the EZC program has increased from three to nearly 30 beneficiaries.

In February 2012, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. entered Executive Order No. 456-2012 to expand the enterprise zones. The expanded areas are Savanne & Downstreet, Gardenstreet & Upstreet on St. Thomas and additional areas in Frederiksted, St. Croix.

The deJongh/Francis Administration continues to support this initiative by the Enterprise Zone Commission and the VIEDA as they utilize all opportunities to offer assistance through this important program to our local residents and small business owners that own property located within the enterprise zones.

The Enterprise Zone Commission is one of five entities under the V.I. Economic Development Authority. The Enterprise Zone legislation was enacted on September 14, 1999 though Act No. 6294 to provide incentives and tax credits for individuals to rehabilitate residential properties, or small businesses to create jobs for residents within the enterprise zones. 

For more information, please contact Ms. Tamra Graham at 340.714.1700, ext. 262.

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