CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI – The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) continues to be a neighborhood champion in the Shop Small Business Initiative launched by the American Express Company across the nation. It kicks off on the day following Black Friday, known as “Small Business Saturday” on Saturday, November 27, 2021. More now than ever help make an impact for small business during the holidays – and beyond.
As the community looks forward to the holidays this year, our small business community depends on the support of residents and visitors to shop local. VIEDA has garnered social media posts and content shared with hundreds of local businesses to support the local economy and #ShopSmall. Through other hashtags and mentions, such as #ShopSmallSaturday #SmallBizSaturday and #ShopLocal, VIEDA hopes to promote local businesses who are key contributors to the quality of life for many Virgin Islanders.
“Encouraging each community member to make a difference by shopping at local, small business is a significant part of this agency’s mission to help grow and diversify the economy in the Territory,” said VIEDA chief executive officer, Wayne L. Biggs, Jr. “Year after year, during the holiday season, we continue to rally the community to shop with Virgin Islands’ storefronts and online small businesses owned by Virgin Islands’ residents to build a vibrant community.”
Aligned with this initiative is the national announcement regarding the launch this year of the Made in the USVI website, www.MadeInTheUSVI.com, where US Virgin Islanders abroad can have a piece of “home” and share Virgin Islands culture with the world featuring 10 local, culturally-relevant manufactured gifts and more. Small businesses also provide opportunities for employment.
In fiscal year 2020, as cited by the Bureau of Economic Research in the USVI Selected Economic Indicators Review & Outlook, private sector jobs account for 69.3 percent of non-agricultural wage and salary jobs in the Territory.
To support a local business is supporting not only the business owner, but those they employ and their family’s right here in our community. Since the local leisure and hospitality sectors have been adversely impacted due to COVID travel restrictions, supporting both services and products made right here in the Territory is essential to the livelihood of many Virgin Islanders.