Numerous Business Loan Options Available to St. Croix Businesses

St. Croix Chamber of Commerce Business for Breakfast attendees discovered numerous large and small business lending options available through the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
July 19, 2012 - PRLog -- A surprising number of small and large business loans are available to St. Croix businesses, even to businesses previously denied financing through traditional sources.

Attendees at the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce Business for Breakfast meeting Thursday morning heard details on myriad business lending options from agency representatives with the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“There are great opportunities here,” said Carl C. Christensen, SBA Senior Area Manager. “But we have to take advantage of them…The banks are starting to do things they have not done before to assist small businesses.”

Christiansen was referencing the fact that at least two local banks are developing programs specifically for small businesses.  This is needed because in this economy, “stable companies who have existed in this community for years and years are starting to come to us for SBA lending.”

The SBA's unsecured microloan program process “is a very simple process to go through,” said Christiansen. It requires a 20-minute application, a photo ID and applicants should expect a response within three business days. Unsecured loans through this program can be as large as $50,000.

The VIEDA representatives explained numerous options open to area businesses owned by local residents. This surprised some attendees who previously thought the VIEDA existed to attract off-island businesses to the island.

“One of the main goals of the Economic Development Authority is to create and maintain jobs in the community,” said Dianne P. Duinkerk, VIEDA Director of Lending. “We’re not as stringent as a regular banking program and all of our programs can be used for working capital.”

The VIEDA microloans require that the business present a loan denial letter from another source.

Both the SBA and the VIEDA offer a range of loans, including unsecured, micro-loan programs and secured, larger loans for small businesses up to $3 million in revenue. The SBA also offers St. Croix businesses larger, secured loans for up to $5 million.

Abraham Edwards, VIEDA State Small Business Credit Initiative Specialist said the turnaround time on the VIEDA loan is typically about 30 days from the submission of a complete application.

Kimberly McCollum and Stuart Logan represented the Chamber board at the event. The Chamber of Commerce developed the Business for Breakfast Series to help strengthen and inform the St. Croix’s private business community. Members and non-members are always welcome.

“We are hoping to bring you value and information that will help you succeed in your business,” McCollum told the attendees. “We want to bring to light information about programs that exist in the community that business owners may not be aware of.”

McCollum also mentioned that there are many programs available to VI businesses from the USDA. This surprised attendees who expected such programs were only agricultural in nature. In fact, because of the rural development initiative under the USDA, the VI has numerous USDA loan and grant options.

Tuesday’s breakfast included the following Speakers, Special Guests:
•   Dianne P. Duinkerk, Director of Lending, VIEDA
•   Abraham Edwards, State Small Business Credit Initiative Specialist, VIEDA
•   Monique Samuel, Loan Officer, VIEDA
•   Carl C. Christensen, Virgin islands SBA Senior Area Manager

Helpful contacts/links:
SBA - Carl Christensen   340-773-5380
SBDC - Karen Jones      340.692.5270
EDA - Dianne Duinkerk      340.773.6499
EDA - Monique Samuel   340.773.6499
EDA - Abraham Edwards   340.773.6499
USDA - Nigel Parish           340.692.9607

The next Business for Breakfast event begins at 7:30 am, Thursday, August 9, at The Palms at Pelican Cove. The topic: Growth & Development Tools for Your Business. The event includes continental breakfast and costs $10 for members or $15 for non-members. The Chamber requests RSVPs by August 8.

Speakers/Special Guests:
•   Carl C. Christensen, Virgin islands SBA Senior Area Manager
•   Karen Jones, SBDC Regional Director

Guests may register online at or RSVP to Vicki Bandola at 340.514.2535 or

Each Business for Breakfast session covers a new topic; each packed with tips for businesses. Future topics include:
•   Internet Marketing and Social Media Strategies To Grow Your Business
•   Return on Investments for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
•   WAPA Update: Alternative Solutions Underway
•   Crime Reduction Initiatives and Results
Source:St. Croix Chamber of Commerce
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Tags:Business News, St Croix, Small Business Loans, Virgin Islands Economic News
Industry:Business, Finance
Location:St. Croix - US Virgin Islands - Virgin Islands, U.S.
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 06, 2012
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