Puerto Rico House of Representatives Speaker Jaime R. Perello-Borrás, met with Small Business Administration Chief María Contreras-Sweet, to present the profile of the island’s small and mid-sized businesses and find better alternatives for the development and retention of this sector that is key to strengthening the island’s economy.
“We have to unify our efforts to stop the closing of more businesses in the Island and to establish a more attractive market for local entrepreneurs. This will help propel the creation of new businesses, which will be the engine to strengthen our economy,” he said.
Perello-Borrás proposed joining the House and the SBA to present alternatives to promote technical assistance and access to capital aimed at local entrepreneurs, to strengthen their development, as well as local and international competitiveness.
“The House has a clear goal for jumpstarting Puerto Rico’s economic development and creating new jobs, betting on small and medium enterprises,” he said.
Among the possible collaborations alternatives presented, were expanding the presence of the island’s “Export Assistance Center,” to provide greater support for small and mid-sized businesses so they can obtain federal government contracts and develop business plans, as well as increase participation from this sector in government procurement programs.
Also, the House seeks to reclassify the HUBZone to cover the entire island and encourage economic development and job growth.
“The engine that powers our economy is small businesses, and exports have been a true bright spot in our economic recovery, supporting nearly 10 million American jobs,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Puerto Rico is uniquely situated to be at the forefront of this growing export market, and I am committed to making sure the SBA’s programs and resources are helping them succeed. By helping our entrepreneurs succeed, we will grow the middle class, and the economy, of the island, and our nation.”