Puerto Rico Gov’t: Federal Hurricane Aid for Small Businesses Still Available
In-Person Grant Application Guidance Will be Offered Friday
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Housing Secretary William Rodríguez was urging small- and midsize-business owners to continue requesting the up to $50,000 available in aid for eligible establishment that were affected by 2017 hurricanes Irma and María.
The Small Business Financing Program (SBF) is financed with funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program’s Disaster Recovery grants, for which a $225 million allocation was made available.
“Our objective through this grant is to continue fostering the economic recovery of small businesses and micro-enterprises, foster the retention and expansion of job opportunities for people with low to moderate incomes and thus continue the reconstruction of Puerto Rico,” Rodríguez said Wednesday.
To date, the SBF program has disbursed $24.5 million to 552 businesses.
SBF provides a Recovery Grants phase (grants awards of up to $50,000) for working capital and moveable equipment for small businesses and microenterprises that suffered physical or financial losses due to the hurricanes. Startups created after the Hurricanes are also eligible if they can show their creation was the result of a closure of a previous business of the same owner, after damages caused by the hurricanes, according to HUD
“We have already granted aid to small and microenterprises dedicated to agriculture, gastronomy, professional services and tourism, among others. There are still funds available and we want businessmen and businesswomen in Puerto Rico to be able to take advantage of the incentive because it is not a loan, it is a grant,” the secretary added.
The aid can be used to cover six months of operating capital expenses including inventory, monthly mortgage payment or rent for offices and business facilities, monthly payment of salaries and other benefits for non-owner employees, monthly utility payments (water, electricity, gasoline, cable, telephone, internet) and transportable equipment that is vital for the recovery of the operation.
The CDBG-DR program will be offering guidance on the application process starting at 4 p.m. Friday, July 9, at the Lote 23 food truck park in Santurce.
For more information, visit https://cdbg-dr.pr.gov or call 1-833-234-2324.