Go To...

Information For...

News

VI SBDC Celebrates 30 Years of Service with Small Business Week Events

The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center logo.

The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (US SBA) will celebrate Small Business Week from May 31 through June 6. The week includes specialized seminars and workshops to foster business growth. Small Business Showcases and awards ceremonies will be held from11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 4, in the University of the Virgin Islands’ Sports and Fitness Center on the St. Thomas Campus and on June 5, in the Great Hall on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 30 years of Service to the Community.”

“We are especially proud to celebrate Small Business Week, on this our 30th year,” said VI SBDC State Director Leonor Dottin. “The VI SBDC has continued to grow to provide services to our clients of whom we are extremely proud.”

“This year, at our Small Business Awards Ceremonies we will recognize several businesses and business owners for their tenacity and business savvy,” said Dottin. “The small businesses that receive an award are continuously evaluated to ensure that their business models are sound. They must have business continuity, improved management, business growth and be current with their financial commitments.”

During the awards ceremonies, the US SBA will honor Linda Bailey, owner of Soul Creations, Inc., who has been named the Virgin Islands Small Business Person of the Year. Bailey will be considered a candidate for the national SBA Small Business Person of the Year along with representatives from the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and other territories.

 The other SBA 2015 award winner on St. Thomas is:

  • Bank of the Year - Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

The SBA 2015 award winners on St. Croix are:

  • St. Croix Entrepreneur of the Year - Ambrosia Gardens, LLC. Co-owners: Cindy and Rashid Shabazz, LLC

Bank of the Year - FirstBank Virgin Islands

At the award ceremonies, the VI SBDC will honor the Caribbean Solar Company, with owners Maya Matthews-Sterling and Kevin Schnell, who have been named the 2015 Small Business of the Year in the St. Thomas-St. John District. Echo Valley Imports, owned and operated by Henry and Angelic Schuster, is the 2015 Business of the Year on St. Croix. The SBDC has named Jose Penn, of Penn’s Corporations, the 2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year.

The other 2015 award winners on St. Thomas are:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year – Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden. Owner: Patsy Breunlin
  • Entrepreneurial Success Award – Island Buddy, LLC. Co-owners: Duncan Molesworth and James Tollefson.
  • Bank of the Year – Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

The other 2015 award winners on St. Croix are:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year – Belle Femme Boutique. Owner: Althea V. Richards
  • Hispanic Small Business Award - Nelson’s Cooling and AC Services, LLC. Owner: Nelson I. Rojas

Dr. Tonjia Coverdale, UVI professor of computer information systems and chief executive officer of VI Next Generation Network, will be the keynote speaker at the award ceremonies.

Seminars and workshops to be offered during Small Business Week include: “Solutions for Your Growing Business;” “Promoting Success Through Entrepreneurship;” “Importance of Budgeting in Uncertain Times;” “Solutions for your Growing Business” and “Careers Before Tears Outreach Program.”  A schedule with workshops and seminars, which are free and open to the public, can be found on the VI SBDC website. Interested participants are asked to register 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 FirstBank VI, the VI Economic Development Authority, VI Next Generation Network, UVI, Banco Popular, and US SBA. The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center is a partnership program of the University of the Virgin Islands and the U. S. Small Business Administration.