Monday, August 26, 2019

Puerto Rico House amends incentive laws to benefit small businesses

By on May 21, 2019

To provide expedited permit process, lower-cost government property leases

SAN JUAN – With the aim of fostering programs aimed at small and midsize businesses (Pymes by its Spanish acronym) and offering them new opportunities to create jobs, Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives favored Monday House bills 1933 and 1921, which amend the Incentives Law for the Generation and Retention of Jobs in Pymes and the Business Incubators Program Incentives Law, respectively.

HB 1933, authored by Rep. José “Quiquito” Meléndez Ortiz, modifies several articles of the Law for the Generation and Retention of Jobs in Pymes with the purpose of providing that small and midsize businesses are given priority in the concession of permits, licenses and government certifications, as required to begin operations.

Likewise, HB 1921, of Rep. Nelson Del Valle Colón, adds new articles to the Business Incubators Program Incentives Law so these businesses are also given priority in the concession of permits, licenses and government certifications.

Both bills propose that small and midsize entrepreneurs can lease certain government properties at an affordable cost.

“It is important to strengthen the small and midsize businesses sector,” Meléndez Ortiz said during the legislative debate, adding, “We must bring about greater confidence so that our business people risk betting on Puerto Rico. Therefore, it is imperative to provide them with immediate tools to facilitate their operation on the island.”

He also said that simplifying the legal framework for new entrepreneurs to obtain permits and providing the lease of certain government property at accessible annual costs was necessary.

Among the chamber’s other work, lawmakers passed HB 1842, which was authored by Rep. Joel Franqui Atiles to create the Law of Fair Access to Banking Statements under the Custody of Financial Institutions. The measure seeks an expeditious and economical process for consumers to request a copy of their account or bank statements to a banking institution in Puerto Rico.

The House went into recess until Thursday.

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