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Seminar to Explain St. Croix Micro-Loan Program

Aug. 5, 2004 – The availability of unsecured loans for up to $10,000 to start a new small business or stimulate an existing one on St. Croix will be explained at a seminar Thursday evening being sponsored by the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber is partnering with the Economic Development Commission, the Small Business Development Agency and the University of the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center in presenting the Micro-Loan Seminar, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Cormorant Beach Club and Hotel.
Samuel J. Baptiste, chamber vice president for government affairs, said in a letter to chamber members that the seminar is aimed at providing current and prospective small business owners "information on the micro-loan program which has been designed and specifically funded for the business community on the island of St. Croix."
The program has been in effect for several months, Baptiste said, but "many businesses are unaware of its existence and other information about the EDC and SBDC." He said representatives from the SBDA and EDC will be on hand to provide information on this and other "opportunities that exist for you as a business owner."
For the micro-loans of up to $10,000, "there is no collateral required," Erica Williams, SBDA loan officer, said. Because of St. Croix's depressed economy and the need for businesses incentives, $2 million has been earmarked for the island program through a federal fund managed by the Public Finance Authority.
"This is meant to be a shot in the arm for St. Croix, to stimulate businesses profitability," Williams said.
Seminar participants will receive assistance in creating a business plan and will be able to apply for unsecured loans of $1,000 to $10,000. EDC, SBDA and SBDC personnel will explain the requirements for businesses to be considered and the loan process.
For further information, call the chamber office at 773-1435.

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