More employee-retention benefit funds for hurricane-affected employers disbursed
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Monday that the Puerto Rico Treasury Department has disbursed an additional $77 million related to the employee retention benefit for employers affected by hurricanes Irma and María.
The new payment, made available under the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 (Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act), signed by President Trump on Sept. 29, is to 3,659 employers. Treasury has now paid $227.5 million to a combined 9,622 companies.
“With this payment, we demonstrate that our policy is to help our entrepreneurs, particularly the small and medium-sized businesses, so they continue to develop on the Island when recovering their expenses after the hurricanes, Irma and María,” the governor said in a release.
Treasury Secretary Teresita Fuentes said that, “thanks to the efforts of the Department with the federal government, employers have been able to focus on developing their business and continue providing services to the public.”
For his part, Labor Secretary Carlos Saavedra Gutiérrez said that “in the Department of Labor, we have joined forces with the Treasury to guide and facilitate the process so employers can receive this federal incentive. The aid means relief and an economic boost for job creators who, despite the structural losses and the challenges caused by the weather emergencies, retained their workers and honored their pay.”
Eligibility for the benefit begins on the date on which the business turned inoperative after either Hurricane Irma or María made landfall, and ends on the date on which the business resumed “significant operations” or Dec. 31, 2017, whichever came first.
Employers can receive up to $1,920 per eligible employee.