In-Brief

USDA grants $140K to Foundation for PR to help western-area businesses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program awarded a $140,000 grant to Foundation for Puerto Rico to support its ongoing efforts in favor of for small and medium businesses in the Aguadilla/Isabela region.

The Small Business Support Program provides capital and mentoring to create and grow small businesses. It aims to support by providing technical assistance to existing small businesses; create new small businesses and local jobs through events and workshops to facilitate business training; build resilience and preparedness for future catastrophic events; and benefit low and middle income residents in a region with a high concentration of small businesses.

“Puerto Rico needs economic growth to prolong sustainable recovery. Through our initiatives for small and medium businesses, we have created opportunities to accelerate development of regions such as Aguadilla/Isabela,” said Annie Mayol, Foundation for Puerto Rico president.

Meanwhile, Josué E. Rivera, state director of Rural Development, said “we’re committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural areas. The initiative to support small businesses devised by Foundation for Puerto Rico is on par with our mission, so we are pleased to grant these funds to continue with the work they have done since Hurricane María.”

One month after Hurricane María, Foundation for Puerto Rico created and implemented the Small Business Cash Grant Program, which was to offer small and medium businesses a cash grant and technical assistance.

So far, the nonprofit has supported 200 businesses in 11 municipalities, which translates into a $500,000investment. Some 96 percent of these businesses are still open and with sales returning to pre-María levels, the foundation stated.

Foundation for Puerto Rico also received $25,000 from Boston Foundation, through the Massachusetts United Fund for Puerto Rico, for the same program.

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