Here’s a quick overview of some of the available loan programs, administered by the VIEDA’s Economic Development Bank.
- State Small Business Credit Initiative: The State Small Business Credit Initiative Program was established by the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act as a means of supporting financing options for small businesses and encouraging financial institutions to do their part in funding more of these ventures. Proceeds of the loan can be used for start-up costs, working capital, franchise fees, business equipment, inventory, construction, renovation, business procurement, tenant improvements and more.
- Frederiksted Loan Program: Any businesses located in Frederiksted (on St. Croix) that have the potential to generate new business activity in that city will get first priority for receiving loans through this program. Those loans have very reasonable interest rates to help encourage business owners to apply and keep growing their businesses in the local area.
- Post-Disaster Relief Loans: There are several post-disaster relief loan programs available that help businesses to re-establish or expand after they’ve been affected by disasters. This is especially useful for those businesses that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in fall 2017.
- Micro-Credit Loan Program: The territory’s Micro-Credit Loan Program offers secured loans subject to the creditworthiness of the applicant and/or guarantor. These loans can be for anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000—smaller amounts—with loan terms available for up to five years.
- Farmers and Fishermen Loan Program: The Farmers and Fishermen Loan Program gives loans to commercial farmers and fishermen, with all loans being secured by “acceptable” collateral.
- Intermediary Relending Program: This program exists for anyone in need of funding for community development projects, or for creating new businesses/expanding on existing ones. The program looks especially kindly on business owners seeking to hire low-income people or to save existing jobs.
- Tax Increment Financing: There is a financing method used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community improvement projects by diverting future tax revenue increases toward a development project.
For more information about any of these available loan programs or other options you have to grow your business in the U.S. Virgin Islands, contact an experienced corporate planning attorney.
Tom Bolt is Managing Attorney of BoltNagi PC, a full service law firm in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands.