Small business sales in Puerto Rico rise by up to 33%
SAN JUAN – Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Puerto Rico reported a 13% rise in retail sales for March and 33% for April, Ricardo Llerandi, executive director of Trade & Export Co. (CCE by its Spanish initials), said Tuesday.
“In March, total sales amounted to $1.083 billion, while for March 2017 they were $958 million. Similarly, in April this year, they totaled $878 million, while in April of 2017 they totaled $661 million. Similarly, [there was an increase of 8.5 percent in February, as previously reported,” Llerandi said in a statement.
He detailed that sales in March totaled $2.88 billion, which represents an increase of 11.4% compared with the same month in 2017, which reflected $2.59 billion in sales. He further said April sales increased 16.9%, compared with April 2017. This April, sales rose to $2.61 billion. April 2017 sales amounted to $2.23 billion.
The official said the sectors that reported the greatest increase in sales were gasoline stations (65.2%), electronics stores (33.9%), and hardware stores and home improvement supplies retailers (33.6%). Meanwhile, in April, the sectors that showed the highest growth were hardware stores and home improvement supplies (53%), new and used motor vehicles (49.8%), and gas stations and convenience stores (47.3%).
On the other hand, cumulative sales for the months of March and April increased 9% and 11%, respectively. Total sales from January to March amounted to $8.31 billion and for the same period in 2017, they had reached $7.61 billion. In April 2018, cumulative sales totaled $10.92 billion, while in 2017 it was $9.85 billion.
Llerandi explained that the size of companies is defined by their payroll, thus a small company’s quarterly payroll is less than $20,000. A midsize company’s quarterly payroll is greater than $20,000, up to $250,000. Large companies are those with payrolls greater than $250,000. Big chains are large companies that have more than one establishment, and can be local or foreign.
The official attributed the rise in SMB sales to the initiatives implemented by the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló through “Puerto Rico Emprende” to promote their development and growth. The initiatives include economic incentives for operational expenses, and the purchase of inventory, salary reimbursements and tax exemptions, among others.