In the first three weeks of the year, the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico has expedited internal processes to achieve faster loan closings, with $238,130 already approved, the agency announced Thursday.
The financing will enable the creation of new businesses in the central and southern parts of the island.
“Our north at the EDB is promoting entrepreneurship and creating new jobs in line with the vision set out in the ‘Plan for Puerto Rico’ spurred by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló,” said EDB President Luis Burdiel-Agudo. “The creation of new local companies constitutes the spearhead of our strategy to stimulate economic development.”
One of the loans approved went to Lechonera Jimagua Corp., which will receive $128,130 in funding to open a restaurant in the Guavate sector of Cayey that will create seven jobs. This funding is granted under Law 135-2014 that provides incentives to young entrepreneurs and will be used by the owners, twin brothers José and Francisco Vázquez-Rodríguez, for working capital, purchase of inventory and equipment, as well as improvements to the facility.
“It was always a dream for both of us to do business together. We went to an orientation offered by the EDB last year and the closing process was rather slow,” said Francisco Vázquez.
“Once the government changed it was something else. The new vision moved this closure and in less than three weeks we’re seeing our dream come true,” he said
“We’re young people who have accepted the challenge. Let’s unite to support Puerto Rico’s economic development directly and indirectly,” said José Vázquez. “Most of our products will be bought from farmers and the local market because we are true believers in what is produced here, is consumed here, and that is our priority.”
Meanwhile, Laboratorio Clínico Punta Diamante will receive $110,000 in funding guaranteed by the Small Business Administration to open a new clinical laboratory in the municipality of Ponce, generating four new jobs. The money will be used for working capital, purchasing inventory and improvements to the facility.
“We’re proud of these Puerto Rican entrepreneurs who have decided to go ahead with their plans against all odds,” said Burdiel-Agudo. “We want every new entrepreneur to understand that they can count on the support of the Economic Development Bank to move Puerto Rico’s economy forward.”