A bill amending Law 62 of 2014 calling for an increase in government purchases from local small and mid-sized businesses from 20 percent to 30 percent starting this year has been signed into law, House Speaker Jaime Perelló announced.
The bill also included amendments to facilitate and streamline permits processes for the sector.
Law 62 establishes that government agencies must reserve 30 percent of procurement for the current calendar year for small and mid-sized businesses on the island. The reserve will increase in stages, reaching 40 percent by 2020.
Last year, the government reportedly purchased $157 million from Puerto Rico small and mid-sized businesses, the House said, citing data from an industry report by the Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Support Board.
“We declare 2015 as the year of the local businessperson and statistics support it. Today we have the highest level of local small and mid-sized businesses in the last eight years,” Perelló said, noting the sector generates 90 percent of new jobs in Puerto Rico.
Other amendments to Law 248 include a provision so that the funds received under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act are available for training employees of small and mid-sized businesses.