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VI SBDC, SBA and DPNR Celebrate Small Business Week

Small Business Development Center

The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Small Business Environmental Assistance Program will celebrate VI Small Business Week from June 6 - 10. The awards ceremonies will be held on Thursday, June 9, at Government House in Christiansted on St. Croix and on Friday, June 10, at the University of the Virgin Islands Administration and Conference Center, first-floor conference room, on St. Thomas. The time for both ceremonies is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This is the first year that the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VI DPNR) Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) has collaborated with the VI SBDC and the SBA to celebrate Small Business Week. The new VI SBDC State Director Dr. John Osoinach applauded the award recipients. “This year the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center takes special pride in honoring business leaders, advocates and champions from across the territory who have worked to support economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” he said. The SBEAP is presenting the Environmental Stewardship Award to three businesses:

  • St. Croix - Mason Auto Body Repair – Ernest Auguste, owner
  • St. John - E-C Service Station – Josephus Williams, Jr.,  president
  • St. Thomas - Budget Super Service Center – Alphonso Rogers, owner

The U.S. Small Business Administration will honor its 2016 award recipients, Brianne B. Beatty and Ryan Skinner, owners of Flagship, LLC who are the Virgin Islands Small Business Persons of the Year. This selection allowed Brianne and Ryan to be nominees for the national SBA Small Business Person of the Year. The other SBA 2016 award winner from St. Thomas is Banco Popular de Puerto Rico for Bank of the Year.

The SBA 2016 award winners on St. Croix are:

  • St. Croix Entrepreneur of the Year – Jihad and Jawad Idheileh, owners of Carlos Furniture
  • Bank of the Year – Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

The VI SBDC will honor several businesses and individuals including:

  • 2016 Small Business of the Year in the St. Croix District – SF General Maintenance Services, LLC, with its managing member Sinclair K. Flemming
  • 2016 Small Business of the Year in the St. Thomas-St. John District – Medically Minded, LLC, with its managing member Stephen A. Jones
  • 2016 Small Business Advocate of the Year - Senator Janette Millin Young

The VI SBDC 2016 award winners on St. Croix are:

  • Entrepreneurial Success Award – JK1 Investments, LC, d/b/a Carib Sun Energy        
  • Managing Members: Jason Battiste and Khalim Williams
  • Small Business Champion – Dr. Paul Flemming, assistant dean, UVI School of Business, Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix

The VI SBDC 2016 award winners on St. Thomas are:

  • Entrepreneurial Success Award – Julita de Leon, PLLC, owner Julita de Leon
  • Small Business Champion – Dr. Dion Gouws, Assistant Dean, UVI School of Business, St. Thomas Campus

Lt. Governor Osbert E. Potter, Delegate to Congress Stacey E. Plaskett and Senator Janette Millin Young are slated to provide remarks at the awards ceremonies.

The week also includes educational programs to foster business growth, such as:

  • “Environmental Regulatory Compliance Workshop for Garage and Auto Repair Shops/Automotive Refinishing”
  • “Preparing Your Business for Sustainable Growth: Strategies for Thinking Big but Starting Small”
  • “VI EDA Micro-Credit Loan Program”
  • “Credit Lines”
  • “Growing Your Business: Money is NOT the only issue”
  • “Part II: Solutions for Your Growing Business”
  • “Use Facebook, YouTube, GOOGLE and More to Dramatically Boost Your Business Awareness and Skyrocket Your Profits!!”

A schedule of activities can be found on the events calendar on www.uvi.edu and at www.sbdcvi.org.

For additional information on all the activities that will take place during Small Business Week, please contact the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center at (340) 776-3206 on St. Thomas or (340) 692-5272 on St. Croix.

Activities offered during Small Business Week are supported by Banco Popular, the VI Economic Development Authority, Merchants Commercial Bank, Scotiabank, VI DPNR Small Business Environmental Assistance Program and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information visit http://www.sbdcvi.org/.