DDEC announces several initiatives to support SMEs
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC in Spanish), announced the launch of several initiatives aimed specifically at local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the purpose to provide capital for the development of several commercial activities that promote economic growth and jobs.
These funding programs were announced during the Expo Desarrollo Pymes, an orientation event about products and services aimed at local SMEs.
“Today, thanks to this set of SME development initiatives of the Trade and Export Program, we offer our entrepreneurs the opportunity to obtain the capital, resources and assistance necessary to make this entrepreneurial dream come true,” said the Secretary of the DDEC, Manuel Cidre.
The five initiatives under Desarrollo Pymes seek to support existing or newly created companies in different business strategies both at an operational, promotional, and technological level.
Through the Seed Capital program, newly created companies, or companies with less than 12 months since being established, will have the opportunity to get an economic incentive of up to $10,000 per company, through a matching of funds for operational capital.
This incentive can be used as capital for the operations of a business, which can include equipment, machinery, and raw materials, among others.
On the other hand, the agency’s Acquisition of Machinery and Equipment Program offers an economic incentive through reimbursement of up to 30% of the total cost of the committed investment, up to a maximum of $10,000.
This incentive — exclusive for existing SMEs — is aimed at the purchase of equipment, machinery, expenses related to the automation of processes, and resilience equipment necessary for the operation of SMEs, among others.
To encourage the promotion of the products and services of small and medium-sized businesses, the DDEC will subsidize digital marketing development services. Similarly, it will subsidize e-commerce platform development services so that SMEs can sell their products and services online.
In addition, to support the digitization of SMEs, the DDEC will subsidize their internet services, once approved by Puerto Rico Trade and Export.
These SMEs will have the opportunity to receive internet services to operate their business up to 5 megabytes for a term of six months.
The funds for the development of these last three initiatives come from the federal grant that the DDEC receives from the Economic Development Administration, agency officials said.
As part of the activities to announce these initiatives, the DDEC held an Orientation Expo for participating entrepreneurs on the different aids and services available to entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs.
This event was attended by the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank, the Corporation for the Economic Development of the Capital City (COFECC, in Spanish), the Cooperative Investment and Development Fund (FIDECOOP, in Spanish), Grupo Guayacán, PRiMEX, Puerto Rico-SBTDC, and Made in Puerto Rico, among others.