The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC) would like to congratulate the 336 recipients of the 2022 Small Business Innovation Grant. Grant recipients were selected based on the presentation of innovative ideas for their businesses and the ability to implement those concepts. Grants ranged from $1000 to $50,000 and were awarded to Virgin Islands small businesses on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island.

“This grant initiative is the first of its kind in the territory,” said Ted Gutierrez, State Director of the VI SBDC. “Thanks to the vision of Governor Albert Bryan, we are pleased to partner with his office to assist small businesses in recovering from the recent economic turmoil and to innovate for future resiliency.”

The mission of the VI SBDC is to serve as the most trusted resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The VI SBDC has assisted over 1,083 businesses in securing more than $29,815,047 in federal assistance during the COVID19 pandemic and with conventional financing in 2020 and 2021. For the past 37 years, VI SBDC has served the community by providing business advising, technical assistance, and educational training to individuals seeking to start a small business and existing small business owners at no charge.

 To help facilitate the Small Business Innovation Grant, the VI SBDC developed a simple application form with basic business eligibility requirements and provided information and educational outreach about the application process. Within a 45-day period, VI SBDC received more than 1000 applications, which were reviewed by an independent panel of individuals representing all three islands to determine who would be awarded a grant based on eligibility and the innovation criteria.

 For more information about the application and selection process and steps businesses can take to prepare for the next potential opportunity, the VI SBDC created a YouTube video Small business owners needing assistance in moving their business or project forward should contact the VI SBDC office on St. Croix at (340) 692-4294 and St. Thomas/St. John at (340) 693-1694.