A total of 175 Puerto Rican business ventures benefited from $1.2 million in funding granted over the past two years by Grupo Guayacán Inc. to boost the island’s recovery after the devastating hit of Hurricane María in September 2017, the nonprofit said.
Among the business, 42 were projects in the idea development stage, 100 were start-ups, and 33 were existing businesses.
The main industries that benefitted from supporting funds or resources were: technology, health, retail, agrobusiness, and food and services, Guayacán confirmed in a report entitled “Guayacán Group: Two Years After María.”
The document accounts for the more than $1.2 million coming from its own funds and donations from corporations, individuals and foundations — in and outside of Puerto Rico — that were granted as incentives for small businesses recovery during this period and invested as seed capital to boost their growth.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane María brought great challenges for local businesses, both for those emerging or already established ones, that faced difficulties to keep running their daily operations, supply chains, customers and expansion plans,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of the organization.
“In the midst of such a complex situation, we focused our efforts on bringing resources to facilitate the recovery of these businesses through emergency capital and securing the continuity of our business education programs,” she said.
“Throughout this process we held onto a strong conviction that the local business sector would play a key role of the recovery process, and that these investments would help build a more resilient Puerto Rico,” she added.
The report details the significant economic impact of beneficiary companies representing more than 2,500 jobs and an injection of $250 million annually into the economy through local sales and export activities.
In addition, it was shown that 80% of the projects in the idea developing stage that received support from Grupo Guayacán during this period continue to develop their companies at the present.
“During the past two years, Grupo Guayacán has dedicated more than 1,200 hours in the business training of more than 500 participants, work that would not have been possible without the support of a large number of collaborators who help us with the programs through donations to our endowment fund,” added Ángel Pérez, chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Guayacán Inc.
To support the organization’s endowment fund, Grupo Guayacán will launch the third edition of its Guayacán Giving Day campaign that runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 23, 2019. The goal is to raise $75,000 in donations.