Commerce Department awards $5.58 million to Foundation for Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Wednesday that his department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.58 million grant to Foundation for Puerto Rico to support recovery efforts for towns and cities that were struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.
The foundation estimates the project will create 24 jobs, retain 432 jobs, and spur $80,000 in private investment.
“The Trump Administration stands shoulder to shoulder with the communities of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of last year’s devastating hurricanes,” Ross said in a release. “Through this project, the Foundation for Puerto Rico will provide essential assistance to the island’s businesses, while supplying critical resources to those in need.”
“In the past year, the Foundation for Puerto Rico has been active in the recovery efforts of the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María,” Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colónsaid in the release. “The funding that is being announced today is a result of a collective effort with fellow members of Congress to provide additional aid for Puerto Rico’s recovery.
“This $5.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce will greatly assist the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to unleash Puerto Rico’s full potential,” the congresswoman added.
The project will support long-term recovery planning for six regions in Puerto Rico outside metropolitan San Juan, helping provide access to potable water, support water quality testing, provide alternative energy sources, and access to telecommunications equipment.
Moreover, the project will procure technical assistance to create a “Destination Plan” for each region, build the capacity of existing small and midsize businesses, assist with the creation of new tourism-related businesses, as well as arrange workshops promoting business continuity and preparedness, the department said.
The EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities to “create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.”