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USDA grants $750K to Puerto Rico for jobs, opens energy grant cycle

800px-USDA_logo.svgPuerto Rico is getting $750,000 in funding to create jobs and boost economic development from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency announced Tuesday.

The funding has been assigned to the Corporación para el Financiamiento Empresarial del Comercio y las Comunidades, which will provide loans to public and nonprofit organizations to re-lend at low interest rates for business and community development projects.

The agency assigned the funding for the local organization through its Intermediary Relending Program, which requires that loans must be used to create or retain jobs by starting or expanding businesses. Since President Obama took office, this program has created or saved approximately 40,000 jobs.

In related news, the agency announced that it is seeking applications for grants to assist rural communities with extremely high energy costs

The agency, through its Rural Development division, is making available up to $7.7 million in High Energy Cost Grants to assist communities where home energy expenditures exceed 275 percent of the national average. Grant awards range from $50,000 to $3 million.

José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, said the agency is also making available up to $1 million in bulk fuel grants to state entities to establish a revolving loan fund to provide a more cost-effective means of purchasing fuel that cannot be shipped by road or rail.

Eligible areas include places where fuel delivery by surface transportation is not practical or is prohibitively expensive and where the area primarily depends on delivery by water or air.

Funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities and to establish fuel transport systems that are less expensive than road and rail.

Applications are due Sept. 3.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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