SBA Grants Puerto Rico Gov’s Request for Support
SAN JUAN — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted Puerto Rico Gov. Vázquez Garced’s request to help businesses on the island affected by the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, and measures to curb its spread.
The assistance comes about as a result of Vázquez’s March 18 letter to the SBA requesting resources under the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program for businesses in Puerto Rico under the Robert T. Stafford Emergency Assistance and Disaster Relief Act (P.L. 100-707).
SBA granted the governor’s request on March 20, providing Puerto Rico “essential resources to ensure that entrepreneurs continue to be able to keep their business open, return to work, and overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic,” the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) said in a release.
The SBA-approved request includes “full access and assistance to local businesses for the EIDL, and up to $2 million in assistance to provide economic support to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus COVID-19. Additionally, the program can be used for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Furthermore, it was also requested that the interest rate of the loans be 3.75% or the lowest applicable rate for small businesses,” the release reads.
The SBA will be offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small business on the island that can be requested here. SBA will also answer questions about the EIDL program as well as explain the application process. Inquiries should be directed to SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
“We thank SBA for acting swiftly to provide small businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size much-needed assistance during this Coronavirus COVID-19 global emergency. As Puerto Rico continues to weather this outbreak, these resources will provide our entrepreneurs and business owners relief and economic assistance to meet their financial obligations,” said Jennifer M. Storipan, PRFAA executive director.