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Puerto Rico registers 4% small biz growth in ’15 Y-O-Y

Puerto Rico Trade and Export Executive Director Francisco Chévere (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico Trade and Export Executive Director Francisco Chévere (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico’s small- and mid-sized business sector showed a 4 percent year-over-year growth last year, when some 207,867 were in operation, up from the 199,848 up and running in 2014.

The number was part of the findings included in the second edition of a status report on the sector produced by Puerto Rico Trade and Export, based on data obtained through the Labor Department’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages report.

Another positive aspect highlighted in the 2015 report was the decline in closures of small- and mid-sized businesses during the first three quarters of 2014 and 2015. In the third quarter of 2015, 1,349 small- and mid-sized businesses closed, representing 170, or 11.2 percent less than the previous quarter. Overall, the number of such establishments closed quarterly in 2015 was less than 1,680 for the average quarterly establishments closed in the last 10 years.

“Despite the prolonged recession and structural changes in the economy of Puerto Rico, generally speaking, small- and mid-sized businesses showed good performance 2015, particularly as measured by the number of establishments, payroll and exports,” Puerto Rico Trade and Exports Executive Director Francisco Chévere said.

The most recent data analyzed in the report show that the sector’s cumulative payroll for the first three quarters of 2015 totaled $4.7 billion, representing an increase of $15.6 million or 0.3 percent, when compared to the $4.6 billion payroll for the same period in 2014. The sector’s contributions accounted for 32.4 percent of total private payroll in Puerto Rico of $14.5 billion for 2015 during the referenced period.

It is estimated that in 2015, small- and mid-sized business exports were valued at $3.5 billion, representing an increase of $192 million and a growth of 5.7 percent when compared to 2014.

The report also showed that in 2015, some 4,263 entrepreneurs and businesses have benefited from the incentives or benefits granted to small-and mid-sized operations under Law 62-2014 and other existing programs to promote their development.

Specifically, 3,229 companies have obtained required permits within 24 hours, for a total of 4,945 permits granted since since the implementation of the law.

“These data demonstrate the strong support we have given to the growth and strengthening of small- and mid-sized businesses at all stages. Entrepreneurs are the pillar of our economy and we count on them to continue promoting the island’s economic transformation,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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