Business Losses From Southern Puerto Rico Quakes Estimated at up to 20%
SAN JUAN — The president of the Puerto Rico United Retailers Center (CUD), Jorge Argüelles, said Wednesday that business owners in the southern part of the island are seeing negative effects as a result of the recently reported earthquakes, which has caused losses of up to 20 percent, according to preliminary estimates.
“In the urban center of Ponce is where merchants have been most affected. In fact, many of the streets have had to be closed by the municipality and this makes it difficult for the public to enter. This obviously in addition to the fear that persists both in business owners, employees and the general public,” Argüelles said in a NotiUno radio interview.
“I read that the Estudios Técnicos [consulting] firm had determined an average that in the southern area about $115 million are spent weekly and that perhaps 15 [percent] or 20 percent of that sales total is being lost,” he added.
He said CUD staff will go to the southern area Thursday to provide services and guidance to its partners, as well as to other small- and midsize-business owners.
“Specifically, what we want is to serve this population of businessowners as we talk about aid for the general public, but we want to focus on restoring commerce in this area again,” he said.
He added that Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy has already identified funds from the Small Business Administration to help business owners.