The Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico disclosed Tuesday that during the first quarter of Fiscal 2015, it has approved more than $32.2 million in 68 loans to businesses looking to expand or establish themselves on the island.
More than $8 million of that amount was approved last month, agency President Joey Cancel-Planas said.
In September, the agency granted $2.6 million new loans and $5.9 million in credit lines to 19 applicants, representing the creation of 87 direct and 183 indirect jobs, and the retention of another 62, the agency noted.
“The EDB has a clear mission, to foster local entrepreneurship. These numbers reflect that today, we’re the main ally of Puerto Rican entrepreneurs,” said Cancel-Planas. “It’s a privilege to contribute to our island’s economic growth and toward job creation, by helping businesses achieve their goals.”
So far this fiscal year, which began July 1, the EDB has received a total of 113 financing applications, which represent more than $128 million in requests. As of Sept. 30, it had closed 68 cases, disbursing $32.2 million.
Of the approved cases, 20 are new businesses, while the difference are existing businesses seeking to expand. Together, they project to create and retain a combined 1,022 jobs, the agency said.
The money approved is mostly benefitting the farming sector (44 percent), services (31 percent) and commerce (18 percent), according to a breakdown provided by the EDB.
“This is no longer about waiting for the business to come to us, it’s about finding areas of opportunity and capitalizing on them,” he said. “So at the bank, we no longer expect the customer to come to us, we go out to look for them and guide them.”
“The tools to help them achieve their own business are there, and our focus is to make them known, so that more see the EDB as a facilitator on the road to success,” Cancel-Planas said.