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Op-Ed: This new year get your small biz off to a fresh start with SBA’s help

Do you often find yourself dreaming about becoming your own boss? Do you think you have the passion and skill set to join the other 30 million small business owners already living the American dream? If you answered yes to both questions, then perhaps 2020 is the year when you can take that plunge into entrepreneurship.

At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we’re all about jumpstarting and elevating small businesses. And we’re able to accomplish this with the support and collaboration of a strong resource partner and alliance network, all of which are an essential part of our mission of helping small businesses start, grow and create jobs.

SBA and its resource partners provide quality one-on-one counseling, training and mentorship that can help to unleash your small business potential. These efforts help many entrepreneurs and existing small businesses gain access to capital and other forms of assistance that help many Puerto Rican small businesses, in turn, contribute to our local economy.

SBA’s vast network of resource partners is accessible and ready to serve and mentor members of the small business community, helping them to raise funding to start new or expand existing companies, as well as providing them with additional business counseling and training programs to help write a winning business plan; work on financial projections or develop targeted marketing and sales strategies.

The SBA’s local resource partner network is comprised of SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, and Women Business Centers. We also make sure small business entrepreneurs have access to specialized assistance through a Veterans Business Outreach Center and the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).

One Puerto Rican small business that has benefitted from one of these resources is Destilería Coquí, the largest artisan distillery on the island. The Mayagüez-based Destilería Coquí produces more than 50,000 cases of handcrafted rum a year, including its flagship brand Pitorro.

Author Yvette Collazo is district director of the SBA’s Puerto Rico and USVI District Office.

Thanks to trade assistance received through an SBA STEP grant to Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company, close to 80% of the company’s sales come from exporting rum to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, and Aruba among others.

Small businesses are a big deal, and the right assistance can make an even greater impact on their bottom line. So if you’re thinking of starting or growing a small business in 2020, then reach out to us at the SBA district office at www.sba.gov/pr. We’ll connect you to the best possible resource for your business need.

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

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