Saturday, April 10, 2021

CDBG-DR Funds Available for Hurricane-Battered Businesses in San Juan

By on February 24, 2021

A gas station in Santurce, San Juan, after Hurricane Maria struck the island. (ESM/CB photo)

Mayor Urges Businesses to Apply for Grant of up to $50,000

SAN JUAN – San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced Wednesday that a series of workshops will be offered to small business owners in the capital city who wish to apply for grants of as much as $50,000, in funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. 

These grants seek to mitigate damages caused by hurricanes Irma and María in 2017 to these small businesses. 

“We have worked together with the Economic Development Bank [EDB] and the Housing Department to carry out these workshops, which will provide guidance to our San Juan merchants regarding aid they can access, in order to strengthen local commerce,” Romero said in a press release.  

The free workshops will take place at the municipal University College of San Juan (Colegio Universitario de San Juan) on March 3 and 4, during two sessions running from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. a 3:00 p.m. Each participant should bring a computer to fill out an application online. Participants should have their 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax returns, Puerto Rico Treasury Department merchant registry, as well as negative certifications of debt with the Treasury Department and the Municipal Revenues Collection Center (CRIM by its Spanish initials). 

Space is limited to 50 people per session, according to the press release, which states that business owners interested in participating in the workshops can register on a special Eventbrite web portal created for the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taller-para-solicitar-ayuda-de-hasta-50-mil-de-fondos-cdbg-dr-para-pymes-tickets-142243212277

The mayor said that small business owners will not have to make investments to qualify for the grants, adding they often lose out on funds that are “indispensable for economic development” because they lack the proper guidance. 

“We urge [business owners] to participate in this event and take advantage of this opportunity,” Romero said. 

 For his part, EDB President Luis Alemañy said that the grants are for “retention and creation of jobs, as well as for purchase of equipment and materials.” He said that merchants must demonstrate that their businesses suffered physical and economic losses as a result of the disastrous 2017 hurricanes.  

Owners of business that had to close as a consequence of the hurricanes but that have opened new businesses can also apply for these grants, Alemañy added. 

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