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Economic Development Bank receives $1M to boost job creation in rural areas

The Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico got approved and will receive $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office, EDB President Luis Burdiel announced.  

“This capital injection will be used to provide loans for small and medium enterprises in rural areas of the island to promote new job creation,” Burdiel said. 

“This will allow us to continue taking affirmative steps to advance our island’s economic development based on our small and medium enterprises, the entities largely responsible for the creation of new jobs,” he added, thanking USDA Puerto Rico State Director Josué Rivera for his support.

The funds granted to the EDB come from the USDA’s Intermediary Relending Program, through which money is lent at an interest rate of 1% to government or private nonprofit organizations that in turn provide financing to businesses to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged areas or isolated communities. 

Under the program, the EDB manages a revolving fund that allows it to reuse the money to make new loans, once the funds are repaid by the final recipients, bank officials said. 

Small and medium entrepreneurs that qualify may receive funding for up to $250,000, or 75% of the total project cost, whichever is less. 

Projects in rural areas of Puerto Rico, a designation that includes most of the municipalities with the exception of Bayamón, Caguas, San Juan, Guaynabo, Cataño, Trujillo Alto, Carolina, Ponce and Mayagüez, are eligible for funding.

Farmers and agro-industrial projects in eligible municipalities may submit proposals to the EDB for appropriate evaluation, Burdiel said. 

“Our new business team, together with loan officers are ready to apply their extensive expertise to promptly process projects that are submitted,” he said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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