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Investment Portfolio for Growth program open to grant up to $50M in loans

The Puerto Rico Department of Housing announced the opening of the Investment Portfolio for Growth Program (IPG), which is receiving applications to grant up to a maximum of $50 million in low-interest, long-term, partially forgivable loans.

IPG has an allocation of $800 million in CDBG-DR recovery funds and is pursuing the island’s economic revitalization on a large scale through commercial and industrial activity, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Housing Secretary William Rodríguez said.

“Promoting economic development through the planned use of federal funds has been a priority in our administration,” Pierluisi sais.

“After the emergencies that we’ve faced as a people, it’s more relevant to promote, from different aspects, our island’s reconstruction,” Pierluisi added.

“For this reason, this program promotes a long-term sustainable reinvigoration in the island’s industries and economic sectors, with the help of a series of programs focused on economic development,” said the governor.

IPG Program funds may be used for commercial developments such as retail establishments — this includes shopping or manufacturing centers such as factories or industrial parks, and public commercial spaces such as convention centers and parking lots.

They may also be used for mixed-use developments and infrastructure developments that promote large-scale economic revitalization activities.

“Through the financing opportunities available, the IPG Program seeks to alleviate the effects of the economic recession exacerbated by the hurricanes through large-scale redevelopment projects that are transformative, that foster job creation and that are capable of generating a cascading economic impact,” Rodríguez said.

“The program will also create a large number of new jobs, many of which will be filled by people with low to moderate incomes,” he said.

The IPG Program is open to for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, community-based economic development organizations, economic development finance institutions, local government entities — including their departments and divisions that support economic development projects, and agencies — government authorities, trusts and boards — that carry out projects to support economic development — as well as public-private partnerships, as defined in the Public-Private Partnerships Act.

In April 2021, the program wrapped up the first phase of the “expression of interest,” when entities could present pre-applications. About 150 applicants submitted to Housing a general description of the proposed project, the initial budget, and other preliminary details of the project.

A few weeks ago, Pierluisi signed an Executive Order to create the evaluation committee of the projects submitted to the IPG Program, to determine the methods for submitting proposals, eligibility criteria, evaluation, and awarding process, among others.

The committee comprises the Housing secretary, the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish), the executive director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish), and the government’s deputy chief of staff for state affairs.

The second phase is now open so those entities with eligible pre-applications may submit a complete application. Other entities that did not participate in the expression of interest process may also submit their request.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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