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EDB disburses $233M in grants that have generated 50K jobs in Puerto Rico

Under the current administration, $221 million has been disbursed.

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank (EDB) reported disbursing $233 million in grants to almost 5,000 entrepreneurs under the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Small Business Financing (SBF) Program, generating nearly 50,000 jobs on the island.

As of 2021, only $12 million had been disbursed. Under EDB President Luis Alemañy’s administration, $221 million have been disbursed, representing 4,353 benefited entrepreneurs, the agency stated. 

This program “has been so successful” that it opened the door to increase the grant limit from $50,000 to $150,000 after allocating an additional $130 million, benefiting more than 500 entrepreneurs with the increase.

Alemañy said these numbers are favorable since the 78 municipalities have benefited from the retention of 31,155 jobs and the creation of another 16,243, totaling 47,398 jobs generated. Indirect jobs are estimated at 118,495, totaling 165,893 direct and indirect jobs.

“We highlight the positive impact that grants to entrepreneurs have had on the island’s economy, as they have facilitated the retention and creation of jobs by contributing to economic development,” Alemañy said. “At the EDB, we continue to take affirmative steps to stimulate and support existing businesses, thus generating an environment conducive to investment and economic growth in Puerto Rico.”

Currently, the banking institution has 122 active applications pending for almost $8 million to be disbursed. The subsidized industries include tourism, restaurants, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and services.

“It’s a reflection of the unwavering commitment of the EDB team to continue supporting small and medium-sized entrepreneurs,” said Carlos Capella, project manager of the EDB’s Small Business Financing Program.

“Thanks to the management and disbursement of these funds, we were selected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the State Small Business Credit Initiative program that we are currently managing with cooperatives and local banks,” he said.

Small Business Financing from the CDBG-DR SBF program was assigned in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the EDB to administer funds in support of merchants affected by hurricanes Irma and María.

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