Home Business St. Croix business VIEDA and SBA Representatives Speak With Chamber of Commerce

VIEDA and SBA Representatives Speak With Chamber of Commerce


More than 50 businesses attended the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce’s Business for Breakfast meeting on Thursday to learn about a variety of loan options available at the Virgin Island Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) for local small businesses.
This is the first in a series of Business for Breakfast events developed by the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce to help strengthen and inform St. Croix’s private business community about various programs and opportunities for the business community.
The attendees, including non-chamber members, heard presentations by Dianne Duinkerk, VIEDA’s director of lending; Abraham Edwards, State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) specialist; Monique T. Samuel, loan officer; and Carl Christensen, Virgin Islands SBA senior area manager.
“One of the main goals of the Economic Development Authority is to create and maintain jobs in the community,” said Dianne P. Duinkerk. “We’re not as stringent as a regular banking program, and all of our programs can be used for working capital.”
Duinkerk and Samuel spoke about the VIEDA’s several loan programs. As a secondary lender, they emphasized the requirement of a loan denial letter for its Micro-Credit Loan Program. They also
clarified the misconception that the VIEDA’s programs are only available for off-island businesses.
Christensen highlighted the opportunities for small business lending through the SBA. Representatives from both agencies offer unsecured micro-loans and secured loans.
Edwards discussed the U.S. Virgin Islands SSBCI Program. Under this program, the Credit Loan Guarantee Program, Collateral Support Program and the Payment surety and performance bonding are approved as the participating state programs. SSBCI program lenders in the U.S. Virgin Islands include Scotia Bank, Bank of St Croix, Merchants Commercial Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and First Bank VI.
The SSBCI program is gaining momentum in the territory. Several loan applications are scheduled for the board’s review and approval at the July 25 board meeting.
VIEDA has been designated by Governor John P. deJongh Jr. as the agency to manage the SSBCI program in the territory. The authority will provide one dollar to every ten dollars loaned to small businesses through local lending institutions resulting in $131 million in loans throughout the Virgin Islands.
For more information on the VIEDA’s lending program or the U.S. Virgin Islands State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), you may contact the VIEDA’s lending division on St. Thomas at 714-1700 or on St. Croix at 773-6499.


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