Sunday, July 5, 2020

Treasury disburses more than $115 million to small, midsize businesses

By on June 10, 2020

SAN JUAN – Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced Wednesday that the Department of the Treasury disbursed more than $115 million in stimulus payments to small and midsize businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right in the middle of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Week, we are announcing that after enabling the link last Friday through the Unified Internal Revenue System (SURI), $115,803,000 have already been deposited to a total of 22,803 small- and medium-size companies in the country that were affected after the government and private sector shutdown to control the spread of the coronavirus. Of the total businesses that benefited so far, 21,730 were medium-size companies that employ between 50 and 500 people and received a $10,000 stimulus. Another 1,073 businesses, with between two and 49 employees, received payments of $5,000,” Vázquez was quoted as saying in a release issued by her office.

Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea explained in the release that “this aid distribution process commissioned by the governor is a continuous one that should last until December. Since we began the disbursement of aid in April, nearly $1.4 billion has been paid out of the $1,200 stimulus from the Cares [Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security] Act and about $230 million among self-employed grants of $500 and $1,000 that continue to be deposited. Treasury has also continued paying reimbursements and other incentives.”

The release reminded the public that the financial aid program applies to all types of small- and medium-size businesses, including nonprofit entities.

To request the aid, business owners must access a link that was enabled in their SURI accounts. They must certify that the aid will be used to compensate for losses due to the interruption of operations related to the decreed COVID-19emergency.

Applicants “must submit a copy of Form 941-PR, Form for the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Declaration, for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, along with evidence of filing with the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS),” the release reads.

Parés added that in the cases of businesses that have not filed the quarterly return, Treasury will use the information provided for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019, to determine eligibility for aid, based on the number of employees reported in said return. Businesses must also provide their bank account information to receive the aid via direct deposit.

The aid will be “available until the funds allocated for these incentives under the Strategic Plan are exhausted,” the release adds.

For more details, the guidelines are available at http://www.aafaf.pr.gov/assets/guide-crf-small-medium-sized-bus-grants-prog.pdf. Circular Letter 20-26 can also be found on Treasury’s website, www.hacienda.pr.gov.