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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.3 Million in Puerto Rico to Grow Local Businesses in Wake of 2017 Storms

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.3 million in grants to the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan to help support entrepreneurial efforts following the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. According to grantee estimates, the projects are expected to create and retain 175 jobs, while generating $3 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration has been on the ground across the country working to rebuild communities after the devastation caused by last year’s storms,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects will help Puerto Rico recover by creating new jobs and encouraging millions in private investment.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • $1.9 million to renovate two vacant warehouse buildings to provide space for entrepreneurs in the creative industries sector. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 75 jobs and spur $1.5 million in private investment.
  • $400,000 to support the Nuestro Barrio Creative Industries and Acceleration Program and to provide technical assistance, including workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and networking opportunities. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain 100 jobs and generate $1.5 million in private investment.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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