Municipality of San Juan Announces $4 Million in Aid for Microentrepreneurs
Capital Entrepreneurship Program provides up to $5,000 per applicant
SAN JUAN – The Municipality of San Juan is making $4.3 million in federal funds available through its “Emprendimiento Capital,” or Capital Entrepreneurship program, which is intended to benefit up to 800 local micro-entrepreneurs who have been operating for at least one year but sustained economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial aid will be funded through the Community Development Block Grant Program – COVID (CDBG-CV), which will offer $5,000 per applicant for direct expenses.
“This program provides a financial rescue for small businesses that will help to avoid the closure of businesses and therefore the layoff of their employees. There are still many businesses that cannot operate normally and this has dramatically reduced their income, endangering hundreds of entrepreneurs who are struggling to offer their services,” the mayor of San Juan, Miguel Romero Lugo, said in his announcing statement.
The funds may be used for payroll, the business locale’s rent or mortgage, utilities and communications (telephone and internet), vehicle signage and other operational expenses that the municipality pre-approves.
The funds may not be used to pay municipal, state or federal taxes; for a stake in an existing businesses; construction, restoration or physical alterations to structures, except for the installation of personal protective equipment against COVID-19; nor any other activity that is ineligible under the CDBG Program Regulations or that the municipality has not pre-approved.
To apply, microentrepreneurs must present their merchant registration and municipal license.
Besides being located in San Juan and having been in operation for at least one year, other eligibility criteria include being a for-profit business; having five or fewer employees, including the owner; and having at least one full-time employee or owner.
Applicants must also show a low income (by means of an income certification); certify that the business was closed or affected during the COVID-19 emergency; demonstrate that the business constitutes the primary income of the proponent (personal and business payrolls); and having a sales volume of less than $100,000 evidenced by the last income tax return.
Interested microentrepreneurs may request the aid at www.sanjuan.pr in the link Covid Help for Microenterprises.
The application can also be physically taken to the offices of the municipal Economic Development Department, on 1050 Ponce de León Ave. in Río Piedras.