SBA PR& USVI Newsletter Caribbean E-Outlook May 2017

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May 2017

Caribbean E-Outlook 

Puerto Rico & USVI District Office Newsletter

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration

SBA Honors Atención Atención Founders with Small Business Person of the Year Award in Puerto Rico

Government Officials and Small Business Person Maria Rivera Solanas

SAN JUAN, PR – The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration recently presented the Small Business Person of the Year Award to Víctor M. Rivera-Solanas and María Paula Rivera-Solanas, president and vice president, respectively, of Atención Atención Inc.

Atención Atención Inc. is a children’s entertainment and educational company founded in 1999. The business combines games and dance to teach values through the art of music. Its television show has received 36 nominations to the Emmy Award Suncoast Chapter and is the winner of ten statues in various categories. Also nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards, Atención Atención employs 67 people.

Read about all SBW awardees here.

In the photo above from the left: SBA Deputy District Director SBA María de los A. de Jesús; Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón; Atención Atención Founder María P. Rivera-Solanas; SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo; Senator Eric Correa; and Puerto Rico Secretary of Economic Development  and Commerce Manuel A. Laboy.


SBA Adds First Surety Bond Company in Puerto Rico

Antilles Insurance and SBA Officials

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced it has added a new surety company to its Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program, partnering with Antilles Insurance Company in Puerto Rico to provide contract surety bonds to small businesses. Antilles is the first bond partner on the island, providing greater contract bonding access to small businesses throughout the region and across the U.S.

 “The SBA is pleased to add to the growing number of surety companies that help small contracting businesses with their surety bond needs,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said.  “SBA partners with the surety industry to help small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding in the traditional commercial marketplace, and this is one more way we are helping small businesses, particularly in the construction and service sectors, to grow and create jobs.”

Read more here.

In the photo from the left: Michael Morales, White House Fellow and Senior Advisor to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon; Eric García and Josephine Santiago of Antilles Insurance Company; SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo; and SBA deputy District Director María de los Angeles de Jesús.


SBA Announces 20 Companies Selected for Emerging Leaders Class of 2017 in Puerto Rico

SBA Disttrict Director Yvette Collazo and Group of Emerging Leaders

The U. S. Small Business Administration Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands district office has launched its third Emerging Leaders training series in Puerto Rico, announcing the companies selected to participate in the Class of 2017.

SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo announced the 20 companies selected during the kick-off ceremony hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce in Old San Juan.

“The companies recruited in Puerto Rico this year once again represent all island regions and a diversity of industries, including security systems, manufacturing, scientific research, construction, architecture, dentistry, maintenance and professional services, among others,” Collazo said.  “Over the next seven months, they will work with course facilitator Jaime Yordán-Frau to successfully exit the program with a three-year strategic growth plan and action plan for their businesses.”

Click here for more.

In Brief

Michael Morales, Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez, and Yvette Collazo

Michael Morales, White House Fellow and Senior Advisor to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, visited the district office recently and joined Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González (center) for a meeting with SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo to discuss areas of opportunity for small businesses on the island.

Michael Morales and Audience

A Puerto Rico native, Morales also had the opportunity to meet with small business owners, participating lenders, resource partners, and professional and trade organizations. In the photo at left, Morales greets attendees at a Government Contracting workshop.

SBA and Turabo University Officials, Lenders

The SBA Puerto Rico office recently participated with a presentation and exhibit at Universidad del Turabo’s Financing Opportunities Summit, hosted by the university’s Incubator and Entrepreneurial Development Center at its main campus in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

From the left in the exhibitor’s area: Luis Bonilla vice president of VegaCoop; Adrián Muñiz, executive director of Banco de Desarollo Centro Oriental; Carmen Pulliza, assistant vice-chancellor of Universidad del Turabo’s Incubator and Entrepreneurial Development Center; SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo; and SBA Economic Development Specialist Jorge Betancourt.

Audience at Matchmaking Event

The SBA and the Puerto Rico Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors held their 12th Government Contracting Matchmaking event during Small Business Week, to facilitate face-to-face meetings between small business owners and federal procurement officials. Participating this year were General Services Administration, USDA Rural Development, Federal Highway Administration with the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation’s Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization, FEMA, IRS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Installation Contracting Office-Fort Buchanan, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, among other agencies. Also, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Lilly del Caribe joined the event this year, at which 200 firms owners were in attendance.

Virgin Islands Highlights

SBA Kicks Off First Emerging Leaders Training Series in the US Virgin Islands

SBA Officials and Virgin Islands Business Owners

The U. S. Small Business Administration Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands district office has kicked-off the first ever Emerging Leaders training series in the Virgin Islands and announced the companies selected to participate in the Class of 2017. Learn more here.

Wayne Huddleston, Deborah and James Smith, and Yvette Collazo

SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo (far right) and St. Croix Senior Area Manager Wayne Huddleston (first from the left) visited Blues' Backyard BBQ in Christiansted, a veteran-owned business, property  of Deborah and James Smith. The Smiths acquired the business last year after receiving business counseling and technical assistance from the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center.

Horace Graham, Yvette Collazo, Wayne Huddleston and Devin Carrington

SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo and St. Croix Senior Area Manager Wayne Huddleston (center) visited the USVI Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and met with Commissioner Devin Carrington (far right) and Director of Licensing Horace Graham. The SBA team expressed its appreciation to the DLCA for showing its support to the Emerging Leaders initiative and referring many small business owners to the SBA for recruitment.


In the Media

Michael Morales, Yvette Collazo, Congresswoman Jenniffer González

SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo (center), addresses the media during press conference held at the district office, following a small business roundtable with Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González-Colón. With them is Michael Morales, White House Fellow and Senior Advisor to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon.

Wayne Huddleston, Yvette Collazo, Holland Redfield, and Angelique Adjutant

SBA was the topic of the day recently on Straight Talk with Redfield airing every day on St. Croix's on WVVI 93.5. From the left, SBA Senior Area Manager Wayne Huddleston; SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo; show host Senator Holland L. Redfield II; and SBA Public Affairs Officer Angelique Adjutant.

Congresswoman Jenniffer González, Yvette Collazo and Small Business Owners

SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo (left) observes as Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner in Washington, Jenniffer González-Colón, addresses the media on Puerto Rico Small Business Week award winners and their contributions to the island's economy.

COMING SOON!

7(j) Training: How to Prepare Federal Proposals

June 7 and 8
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Call: (787) 766-5572

Small Business Export Assistance Workshop

Weds., June 21
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Register here

MONTHLY EVENTS

Community Workshop: Access to Capital and other Resources for New and Existing Businesses

Weds., May 24

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Register here

HUBZone Certification Workshop

Tues., June 6
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Register here

Government Contracting 101 Part I: Certifications

Tues., June 20
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Register here

Government Contracting 101 Part II: Marketing

Tues., June 27
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
SBA District Office
273 Ponce de León Ave.
Plaza 273, Suite 510
San Juan, PR 
Register here

SBA PR & USVI Lending Activity as of April 30, 2017

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