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Puerto Rico Economic Dev’t Bank wants to turn PUA recipients into entrepreneurs

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank is looking to convert those who benefitted from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program into “entrepreneurs instead of employees,” agency President Luis Alemañy said.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, passed in 2020 created the PUA program through which thousands of individuals in Puerto Rico who were ineligible for regular unemployment compensation and who were fit and available for work, but were unemployed or partially employed due to the impact of COVID-19.

“This is a great opportunity for many of these beneficiaries to make their business dream come true,” said Alemañy. “In the EDB we have different options to lend them the money or offer them a line of credit, either for micro, small and medium businesses.”

The pandemic so far has generated more than 882,329 unemployment claims and 527,362 in PUA claims, translating into more than $7 billion in unemployment and $2 billion in disbursements for PUA, the agency noted.

With the expiration of the PUA benefit, Puerto Rico has more than 72,000 people who are now expected to resume their working lives.

“That said, we urge them to become entrepreneurs,” Alemañy said.

The EDB offers revolving credit lines of up to $1 million and a financing product aimed at the microentrepreneur, for natural or legal persons interested in going into self-employment in companies with five employees or less, with maximum amounts of up to $25,000.

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

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