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SBA heading matchmaking event to help Puerto Rico businesses

Looking to facilitate access to resources that enhance the business community’s economic development, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will join other federal and state agencies, credit unions, advocacy organizations, banks and private companies focused on generating action by offering tools that empower small businesses to start, grow, expand, and recover through the Path to Prosperity Lenders Matchmaking event Mar. 14 at the Caguas Fine Arts Center.

The activity, which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature the participation of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Small Business and Technology Development Center (PR SBTDC), the US Department of Transportation, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US Department of the Treasury, the  Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce and the Autonomous Municipality of Caguas, among other organizations and companies, who will join forces with the SBA to encourage entrepreneurship and strengthening economic development in rural areas of the island, organizers informed.

Those entrepreneurs who attend will have the opportunity to access business training programs and individual meetings in which they can identify opportunities to access capital through our partnering financial institutions.

“At SBA we’re committed to promoting entrepreneurship by recognizing the great impact that the creation and development of new businesses has on our nation’s economy,” said Marlene Cintrón, SBA Regional Administrator.

“With this event, which takes place as we celebrate SBA’s National Women’s History Month, we redouble our efforts to support our entrepreneurs and with this special initiative, the island’s female entrepreneurs to open a Path to Prosperity and financial independence for all,” she said. 

Participants will be able to attend information panels where they will learn about the programs and services offered by agencies such as USDA, FDIC, and SBA; as well as private banks, cooperatives and other organizations supporting small businesses. In addition, they will learn how to prepare to apply for commercial financing and will have the opportunity to connect with representatives of banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to get guidance on their capital programs.

Josué Rivera, district director of the SBA’s Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands region, urged the business community to participate in the event, stressing the opportunity represented by having more than five federal, state, corporate and private enterprise agencies, united under one roof with the common purpose of supporting them by giving them access to a portfolio of available resources.

“We want to ensure that the nation’s small businesses receive the support they need to access federal aid programs that can assist them,” he said.

“These types of events are designed to reduce the barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often encounter to access the programs they need to recover, grow or start their businesses, resulting in more sustainable communities and strengthening their economies,” Rivera said.

This activity is open to the business community and the public. Those interested in participating in person or virtually must reserve their space online.

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

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