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Territory to Celebrate Small Business Week May 23-27

The Virgin Islands will celebrate entrepreneurship in the Territory with the observance of Small Business Week from May 23 to 27 with activities on St. Croix and St. Thomas, and video conferencing to St. John on a limited amount of trainings from the St. Thomas schedule. Small Business Week activities are presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC) at the University of the Virgin Islands.

"Without a doubt, the most important week of the year within the national scope of the U.S. Small Business Administration is Small Business Week," said Carl Christensen, SBA Virgin Islands branch manager. "This week celebrates the purpose and accomplishment of small businesses throughout our country. Although known for its great job creation, small businesses are the very fiber of our great capitalist system," he said.

"Now is the time we need to focus on our small businesses," said Leonor Dottin, director of the VI SBDC. "They are the lifeblood of our economy."

A highlight of this year's event is the seminar "The Leap: Going from Income to Wealth," which will be presented by renowned author, entrepreneur and nationally syndicated columnist Rhonda Abrams. The seminar will focus on transforming income to wealth and growing a business. Abrams will share successful strategies to assist small business owners or potential entrepreneurs in generating and selecting business growth options.

"The Leap: Going from Income to Wealth" seminar will be held on St. Thomas from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, May 23, at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Resort and on St. Croix from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, at Gertrude's Restaurant. A pre-registration fee of $20.00 is required. $25.00 at the door.

Other seminars include Estate Planning by Attorney Anna Paiewonsky,; and How to Start a Business in the U.S. Virgin Islands by the VI SBDC.
The successes of small businesses in the territory will be celebrated at the Virgin Islands Small Business Week Awards Ceremonies, where a Small Business of the Year will be announced. The St. Croix ceremony will be held noon to 3 p.m., on Thursday, May 26 at UVI Great Hall at the Albert A. Sheen campus. The St. Thomas ceremony will be held at 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Reichhold Center for the Arts.

The public, specifically business owners and those thinking about opening businesses are invited to attend Small Business Week activities.

Small Business Week events include:

  • Monday - May 23 - Free Seminar offered by FirstBank-VI: Credit: a key to empowering your personal life and business - 2 to 4 p.m. - VI SBDC Training Center on St. Croix (Video Conference to St. John Academic Center at the Market Place)
  • Monday - May 23 - Seminar: "The Leap: Going from Income to Wealth" with author, entrepreneur and columnist Rhonda Abrams - 6 to 8 p.m. - Windward Passage Hotel - St. Thomas. (Fee: $20.00 advance / $25.00 at the door).
  • Tuesday May 24 - Seminar: The Leap: Going from Income to Wealth with author, entrepreneur and columnist Rhonda Abrams - 6 to 8 p.m. - Gertrude's Restaurant - St. Croix (Fee: $20.00 advance / $25.00 at the door).
  • Tuesday - May 24 - Free Seminar: Estate Planning by Attorney Anna Paiewonsky - 6 to 9 p.m. - VI SBDC Training Center - St. Thomas (Video Conference to St. John Academic Center at the Market Place)
  • Wednesday - May 25 - Seminar: How to Start A Business in the U.S. Virgin Islands - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - SBDC Training Center St. Thomas (Fee: $10.00 advanced / $15.00 at the door)
  • Thursday - May 26 - Virgin Islands Small Business Week Awards Ceremony/St. Croix - noon to 3 p.m. - UVI Great Hall - St. Croix Guest Speaker: UVI RT Park Executive Director, David Zumwalt
  • Thursday - May 26 - FREE FirstBank-VI Seminar: Credit: a key to empowering your personal life and business - 6 to 8 p.m. - SBDC Training Center - St. Thomas
  • Friday - May 27 - FREE COPE Caribbean Conference for Business Superstars - Women Helping Women - 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa - St. Croix (Organized by Events in Paradise)
  • Friday - May 27 - Virgin Islands Small Business Week Award Ceremony/St. Thomas - Guest Speaker: UVI President Dr. David Hall - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Reichhold Center for the Arts - St. Thomas

For details call the VISBDC St. Thomas/St. John Service Center at (340) 776-3206 or the VISBDC St. Croix Service Center at (340) 692-5270.