As part of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery meeting, former President Bill Clinton recognized the work Foundation for Puerto Rico has done by providing capital and mentoring to small businesses on the island after Hurricane María.
At the event, Foundation for Puerto Rico announced its commitment to extend its “Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative” 50 island communities in the next three years. The effort will result in a $7 million investment in infrastructure, including solar energy systems, water tanks and filters and satellite communication systems.
The Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative works with communities and small businesses to give them the necessary tools to develop and implement a comprehensive destination plan that generates social and economic development in the area.
It has already been successfully implemented in Orocovis and the nonprofit is currently working in Punta Santiago in Humacao.
The effort will benefit small entrepreneurs and businesses who will receive $1.2 million in cash incentives. The goal is to support an additional 300 small businesses, create 72 new businesses and 1,116 jobs, Foundation officials said.
Within weeks of Hurricane María, the Foundation set out to support small and medium-sized businesses so they could reopen and/or continue operations. As of now, the nonprofit has helped 200 businesses in 11 municipalities with an investment of $500,000.
“Foundation for Puerto Rico is committed to the social and economic development of our communities through the Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative,” said Foundation President Annie Mayol, who received the recognition from the Clinton Foundation.
“We are extremely grateful to the Clinton Foundation for recognizing the importance of this program and the impact it will have on Puerto Rico,” she said. “This effort is in partnership with local nonprofits Centro para Emprendedores, Grupo Guayacán, Kiva and Fundación Banco Popular, among others.”
During the event, several commitments were announced for the benefit of the Caribbean region, which includes Puerto Rico, following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María.