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Puerto Rico EDB receives $1 million from USDA Rural Development

By on April 22, 2019

Josué Rivera, state director, USDA Rural Development office in Puerto Rico; and Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank President Luis Burdiel (Courtesy)

Economic Development Bank seeking applications for loans of up to $250,000

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank (EDB) President Luis Burdiel announced Monday the approval of $1 million to help create jobs in the island’s rural areas.

The funds were approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Office to help the EDB invest in the creation of jobs.

“This capital injection will be destined to provide loans for small and midsize businesses [Pymes by its Spanish acronym] in rural areas…,” Burdiel said in a statement. “This will allow for us to continue taking affirmative steps to advance the economic development of our island with our Pymes [, the] entities that are mostly responsible for the creation of new jobs, in tune with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares’s vision.”

Burdiel thanked Josué Rivera, state director of the Rural Development office in Puerto Rico, for his support in the initiative.

The funds granted to the EDB come from the Intermediary and Relending Program, through which money is lent, at a 1 percent interest rate, to either government or private nonprofit entities, which in turn provide financing to businesses in underserved areas or isolated communities.

Under the program, the EDB manages a revolving fund that allows the institution to reuse the money to grant new loans once the funds are repaid by their end-recipients.

Small-business owners who qualify may receive loans of up to $250,000, or 75 percent of their total project cost.

Projects in rural areas of Puerto Rico are eligible for financing, a designation that includes nearly every island municipality, except Bayamón, Caguas, San Juan, Guaynabo, Cataño, Trujillo Alto, Carolina, Ponce and Mayagüez.

Burdiel added that agricultural manufacturers and agro-industrial projects are eligible to apply for the financing. The EDB chief urged companies in eligible municipalities to submit proposals for evaluation.

“Our team for new businesses, together with the loan officers, is ready to apply their extensive expertise to promptly process the projects presented,” he said.

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