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Good news (in a way) for St. Croix business owners - while Omar did cause damage and real problems, at least the government is stepping up and making these programs available:
Nov. 2, 2008 -- Thanks to Hurricane Omar, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued a disaster declaration for St. Croix. This will enable St. Croix residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Omar to apply for SBA low-interest physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the SBA "did an assessment and there was some need," said Jacqueline Heyliger, deputy director of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, on Sunday. The SBA declaration, coupled with a disaster declaration by President Bush, will allow for timely assistance for those most impacted by Hurricane Omar, according to Gov. John deJongh Jr. The deadline to apply for a physical disaster loan is Dec.15. Application deadline for the economic injury disaster loan is July 31, 2009.
More here from the Source.
From the Source:
Oct. 30, 2008 -- The V.I. Public Services Commission will hold four hearings to get public input as part of rate investigations of Vitelco and on the ferry companies plying the St. Thomas-St. John circuit.
The PSC has oversight of utility rates, with a mandate to ensure rates are reasonable and non-discriminatory. Under V.I. Code, since 2001 the PSC must perform a rate review every five years on its regulated utilities. The last review for Vitelco was in April 2003 and the last rate schedule was approved in August 2003, so a new rate review is required by law.
Vitelco parent Innovative Communications is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and Vitelco is slated to be sold to pay some of Innovative's debts. But efforts to sell these corporate entities have been complicated by both the global credit crunch and, locally, by the lack of clarity (for potential buyers) of the Vitelco rate structure. As a result, the corporate-sales efforts were suspended earlier in the summer, while sales continued for other assets of ex-Innovative CEO Jeffrey Prosser, such as works of art, expensive automobiles and real estate.