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5 small businesses in Puerto Rico get American Express grants

Five small businesses in Puerto Rico were among the 350 recipients across 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to receive $5,000 each as part of the second annual “Backing Small Businesses” program sponsored by American Express and Main Street America.

The local winners were conVIDA Cocktail Lounge (Caguas), Injertia Manases (Hatillo), Pinta y Brinda LLC (Dorado), Roman Mini Market (Camuy) and Sana Te Health Food Store (Bayamón).

The funds are intended to help these businesses cover marketing expenses, capital improvements, as well as physical and technological upgrades and other costs.

In the fall of this year, 25 of the grantees will also receive enhancement grants of $25,000 each to fund innovative revitalization projects such as business expansion, capital improvements or investment in technology that would further improve their businesses, while providing goods or services that address cultural, environmental or access needs in their local community, the sponsors said.

With the grants announced, including the enhancement grants, the program will distribute more than $2.3 million in grant funding this year.

“This program is designed to help small business owners succeed when they need it most.  These owners are pillars within their local communities and drive the economies along our main streets and many are facing financial hardship that impacts their growth,” said Madge Thomas, president of the American Express Foundation.

Including the awards announced this month and the awards to be granted in the fall, the program has provided nearly $4 million in grants to 680 small business owners nationwide.

ConVida Cocktail Lounge is the “first women-owned Gin Lounge, located in the heart of Caguas. We are a Latina-operated business that offers handcrafted vintage cocktails,” according to its website. The 1960s-inspired restaurant also serves dishes true to the era such as Beef Wellington and Chicken a La King, as well as modern favorites.

Injertia Manases in Hatillo has specialized in the propagation, development and sale of grafts, fruit trees and plants since 2015. It distributes to farms and homes to “stimulate harvests.”

“With our store, we want to ensure that any Puerto Rican can purchase any plant and product from our inventory to grow food at home,” the company stated.

Pinta y Brinda is an art and painting studio that provides “colorful experiences” through a wide range of painting sessions for individuals and corporate events.

Sana Te Health Food Store is an online store that offers health supplements, vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements for children, adults and pets.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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