A best practice of the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center is the ability to maintain partnerships, including those with USDA, MBDA, VIEDA, DLCA and Chambers of Commerce.
The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center maintains an excellent relationship with Thomas USAF Group, an originator of large government-guaranteed loans.
The VI SBDC will provide computers for small business owners to come in and apply for the EIDL if they do not have internet access and are prepared to help them with the loan application process. We’ve also printed paper applications and are providing reference materials for them.
SBA and VI SBDC have been on the local radio discussing our collaboration and what we are doing to support the territory. We’ve also posted several supporting documents and links from the SBA, ASBDC, CDC, and other resources on our social media. In addition, we sent out a special edition newsletter with several of the resource links provided.
Leveraging of Financial Resources, The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center has been able to utilize its CARES Act funds to contract and gather data on the impact of the COVID pandemic on specific industries in the Territory. Industry data collected from businesses within the Tourism industry heavily hit by the pandemic (i.e. restaurants, hotels, retail, marine industry), were surveyed in-person and through online surveys to ascertain how they were affected and what assistance/resources could be offered to help them during this time.
As a result of the data received, the VI SBDC was able to tailor its counseling services and training programs to better serve local businesses. These efforts are ongoing and will continue into CY-2021.