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USDA invests $600,000 to assist rural businesses

By on August 19, 2020

SAN JUAN – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development, through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG), is investing $600,494 to assist rural businesses on job creation and to increase economic opportunities in Puerto Rico, the department said Wednesday in a media release.

USDA says the grants “help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.” Recipients can use RDBG funding to support “targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging businesses.” 

Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension Inc. (PRiMEX) was awarded $246,494 for the creation of the Business Competitiveness Project.

“This project will be serving eleven rural municipalities in Puerto Rico. The project focusses on strengthening the capacity of existing small manufacturers to generate business economic impact to adjacent communities,” according to the release.  

Para La Naturaleza Inc. was awarded $95,000, to provide technical support to rural communities in San Germán, Coamo and Yauco. It will be “developing economic activities to increase the resilience of Puerto Rico, while improving existing capacities, resources, and employment opportunities,” the release reads.

“These grants are strategic investments in non-profits entities that support rural businesses and they will ensure that these entities provide technical training and development that will strengthen the economy during these trying times,” said Josué E. Rivera, State Director.

Rivera added that five more entities received awards in Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico Ranchers Association, $65,000; Fondo Fomento Industria de Carne de Cerdo, $65,000; Forbes Foundation, $59,000; Fundación Sila M. Calderón, $40,000; and Oficina para la Promoción y el Desarrollo Humano (OPDH ), $30,000.

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