This year’s edition of the Made in Puerto Rico Fair, to be held Dec. 7 and 8 in Caguas, will be on the wide world web for the first time. The Puerto Rico Products Association, organizers of the event, are integrating Internet coverage in a bid to raise the profile of products made on the island, this media outlet confirmed.
To make it happen, event organizers have enlisted the help of the company Social Business to carry live streaming from the fair and possibly even record interviews with participating entrepreneurs.
This fair also will mark the beginning of two important collaborations, according to information provided by PRPA, a group created to promote locally made products and services.
The first is with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Orlando, Fla, an organization that is teaming up to serve as a bridge between PRPA and businesses in the Orlando area, as NIMB reported.
The second is with Puerto Rico’s own crowd funding platform, Antrocket, which is joining forces with PRPA to help identify 25 micro entrepreneurs with quality products and defined growth objectives. The plan calls for Antrocket to launch a campaign, to be backed by PRPA, promoting each of the 25 products identified as having the best chances of success. The aim is to raise $3,000 for each micro enterprise. A micro enterprise is a small business with fewer than five employees.
Expectations for the upcoming Made in Puerto Rico Fair are high. PRPA President Manuel Cidre said 100 companies spanning from agriculture and crafts to technology and information plan to participate and some 30,000 visitors are expected to attend this year, up from 20,000 in 2012.
The purpose of the fair, he said, is to “show what we do and challenge the public to patronize products made in Puerto Rico.” The activity, which will feature musical entertainment, including singer Víctor Manuel and the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra, will take place in the Paseo de las Artes in Caguas.
PRPA’s efforts through the years seem to be paying off with more consumers on the island choosing locally made products over comparable products made elsewhere. For example, Cidre said more consumers are opting to buy locally made Rovira crackers or Maga oatmeal instead of automatically selecting a brand made elsewhere.
Cidre, owner of the popular Los Cidrines Bakery, said the PRPA’s biggest achievement has been to create greater awareness among consumers in Puerto Rico about the importance of buying local.