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Puerto Rico’s small businesses can still apply for CDBG grants

Owners of small and medium-sized businesses in Puerto Rico that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017 may continue applying for help available through the Small Business Financing Program, under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

Puerto Rico Housing Department Secretary William Rodriguez, said so far, the program has disbursed $24.5 million of its $225 million budget to 552 small and mid-sized businesses.

“We’ve already granted aid to small and micro-enterprises dedicated to agriculture, gastronomy, professional services and tourism, among others,” he said. “There are still funds available and we want entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico to be able to take advantage of the incentive.”

To be eligible for the aid, the business must: be a for-profit or nonprofit organization; it must be located and authorized to do business in Puerto Rico; have been created on or before Sept. 6, 2017; have been operating during the passing of the Hurricanes Irma and María; or that they had to close their business because of the hurricanes and open one later.

“Our objective through this subsidy is to continue promoting the economic recovery of small merchants and micro-businesses,” added Rodríguez. “It’s not a loan, it’s a grant.”

The incentive can be used to cover six months of operating capital expenses.

This includes inventory, monthly payment of mortgage or rent of offices and business facilities, monthly payment of salaries and other benefits for non-owner employees, monthly payments of utilities (water, electricity, gasoline, cable, telephone, internet) and transportable equipment, vital for the recovery and maintenance of the operation.

The agency will hold an orientation session about the CDBG-DR program on July 9, in Lote 23 in Santurce so that entrepreneurs can clear up doubts with agency personnel, while completing the application. The event will take place at 4 p.m.


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