U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company.
This grant will be used to establish an entrepreneurial program that will deliver technical assistance and support through centers located in San Juan, Ponce, and Mayagüez, further helping these communities recover after last year’s devastating hurricane season. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to help create 30 new businesses and 90 new jobs.
“The funding announced today will help support the rebirth of local businesses throughout Puerto Rico,” said Ross.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
“This allocation of funds by the EDA, from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 we worked on in Congress, is undoubtedly a great boost to our economy, especially after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and María,” said Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jennifer González-Colón.
“I thank Secretary Ross and the Trump administration for their continued attention to Puerto Rico’s plight. Puerto Rico’s economic health is of great importance for the United States, and I have always bet on private enterprise as the main engine of economic development.”
Through the three centers, entrepreneurs and existing small and medium-sized businesses will be provided with co-working space, access to shared services, business training and technical assistance, as well as support in the development and commercialization of new products and services.