Virgin Island EDA Funds Two SSBCI 20 Loans

Two transactions generated loans with Puerto Rico-based FirstBank totaling $910,000 with the State Small Business Credit Initiative 2.0 program providing $493,250 in loan guarantees—one a St. Croix-based restaurant and the other a St. Thomas fishing supply operation—retaining 14 jobs and creating eight new employment opportunities in the territory.

Wayne L. Biggs Jr., chief executive officer of VIEDA affirms, “Our purpose is to support and develop our local business community. Access to State Small Business Credit Initiative 2.0 funding opens a wealth of exciting opportunities for small businesses and directly translates to job creation and sustainability for our residents, enhancing our tax base. Reinvigorating our relationships with local banks is key as we participate in the second round of the SSBCI program on a significantly larger scale than we did with SSBCI 1.0.”

Michael Basden, commercial business manager FirstBank, says, “FirstBank is pleased to continue its partnership with VIEDA on this initiative. We have participated in the SSBCI program in the past, and the considerable increase in funding and products available through SSBCI 2.0 affords a higher level of flexibility and assurance as we continue to assist USVI small businesses.”

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