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Rums of Puerto Rico assigns $2.5M in aid for bar owners, bartenders

The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) announced that starting June 3, its Rums of Puerto Rico program, jointly with the brands it represents, will distribute $2.5 million in incentives to members of the alcoholic beverages sales and service industry.

The funds will go to bar owners, alcoholic beverage retailers and mixologists/bartenders, the agency confirmed.

“Undoubtedly, bars and restaurants, and alcoholic beverages sales industry has been greatly affected by the pandemic caused by COVID-19,” said the DDEC’s Chief Communications and Market Officer, Ángeles Valle-Irizarry.

“We’ve seen how restaurants and bars have had to reinvent themselves due to the restrictions imposed to contain the contagion. As we return to normal, our commitment at the DDEC is to assist these businesses and mixologists/bartenders so that economic activity can gradually reactivate,” she said.

The goal of the financial assistance is to help employers or employees who have not been eligible for other incentives, she said.

The incentive may be requested through the program’s website. An estimated 500 mixologists/bartenders will receive $1,000 in individual aid per approved application, and 1,000 bars will receive $2,000 each, said Rums of Puerto Rico Director Maité Jordán.

Individual mixologists must submit a copy of their certification or proof of more than 48 hours of training, evidence of having worked at a bar before Mar. 15, 2020, and a current photo ID.

Meanwhile, bars or liquor stores must submit proof of being a legal entity or individual business, provide evidence of their Merchant’s Certificate issued by the Treasury Department, a Alcoholic Beverages Retailer License valid as of Mar. 15, 2020, must not have received a incentive from the DDEC’s small business economic incentive program, an Employer Identification Number, and a valid photo ID.

Incentives will be approved as applications are submitted with all requested evidence and until funds are exhausted, DDEC officials said.

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

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