The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding a $5.58 million grant to the Foundation for Puerto Rico to support recovery efforts for towns and cities which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and María.
The funding comes from the agency’s Economic Development Administration and is expected to create 24 jobs, retain 432 jobs, and spur $80,000 in private investment, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced.
“The Trump administration stands shoulder to shoulder with the communities of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of last year’s devastating hurricanes,” said Ross. “Through this project, the Foundation for Puerto Rico will provide essential assistance to the island’s businesses, while supplying critical resources to those in need.”
“In the past year, the Foundation for Puerto Rico has been active in the recovery efforts of the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María,” said Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González.
“The funding that is being announced is a result of a collective effort with fellow members of Congress to provide additional aid for Puerto Rico’s recovery,” González said.
“This $5.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce will greatly assist the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to unleash Puerto Rico’s full potential. I want to thank Secretary Ross and the administration for continuing to identify ways to build a more resilient Puerto Rico,” she added.
This project will support long-term recovery planning for six regions in Puerto Rico outside metropolitan San Juan, helping provide access to potable water, support water quality testing, provide alternative energy sources, and access to telecommunications equipment.
Moreover, the project will procure technical assistance to create a Destination Plan for each region, build the capacity of existing small and medium size businesses, assist with the creation of new tourism related businesses, as well as arrange workshops promoting business continuity and preparedness.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), 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 Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.