To help local small businesses through local banks in the territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) has approved 38 loan guarantee support applications in the amount of $11.1 million through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Of this amount, $10.2 million that has been committed and/or expended has the potential of creating and/or retaining approximately 600 jobs and millions in tax revenues for the territory from SSBCI loan guarantee activities.
The approval of these loan guarantee support applications by the USVIEDA as of the end fiscal year 2017 has helped local small businesses get access to funding to help them sustain or grow their business. The fiscal year for the U.S. Virgin Islands ends on Sept. 30. Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp has designated USVIEDA to administer the final disbursement of three one-third (1/3rd) increments of funding under the SSBCI Program in the U.S.V.I. Currently, loan guarantees are up to 50 percent of the total loan amount at banks in the U.S.V.I. that are participating in the SSBCI program.
In October 2011, the V.I. was awarded $13.1 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a participating state under the SSBCI program that was established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
“These federal funds from the SSBCI Program were disbursed to the USVIEDA by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in three one-third (1/3rd) increments to specifically finance programs with local banks under the USVI SSBCI loan enhancement programs. These programs are the Collateral Support Program; Credit Guarantee Program; and the Payment, Surety and Performance Bond Program,” said USVIEDA Acting Chief Executive Officer Wayne L. Biggs Jr.
The SSBCI program is a loan guarantee and bonding program that is designed to help create and grow small businesses as well as create jobs and tax revenues for the territory. Under the program, loan guarantees enable small businesses to obtain term loans or lines-of-credit. If approved, the USVIEDA provides banks with a percentage guarantee as security for the loan or line of credit.
“The local banks that are currently participating in the SSBCI are Merchants Commercial Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, First Bank and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. However, we encourage small-business owners to first contact the staff at the Economic Development Bank before they apply at these banks so that they can get a good understanding about how the SSBCI Program works, how the program can help them and their business, and to learn more about the program’s application process,” said Biggs.
Funds from this program can be used by small businesses for, but are not limited to, start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, construction, renovations and tenant improvements to eligible business site. Some restrictions apply.
The State Small Business Credit Initiative is a federal loan guarantee program under the U.S. Department of the Treasury that was funded with $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support private financing to small businesses and small manufacturers.
For more information on the SSBCI Program, contact the Economic Development Bank on St. Thomas at 714-1700 or on St. Croix at 773-6499.