Manuel Laboy

DDEC Secretary Manuel A. Laboy Rivera.

The Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) and the Economic Development Bank (EDB) announced a collaboration to reduce the interest rate for loan applicants under the DDEC's "Young Entrepreneur" initiative as part of the agency's Youth Development Program.

DDEC Secretary Manuel A. Laboy Rivera informed that the island's entrepreneurial youth will pay 3 percent in their interest rates, and they have until November 9 to apply.

"Ever since we announced the availability of $1 million to help establish 100 micro-companies, 30 cases were processed and 23 of these are close to completing the banking process, so $230,000 will soon be disbursed under the new interest rate," Laboy Rivera said.

EDB President Pablo Muñiz Reyes affirmed that their goal is to foster entrepreneurism in Puerto Rico to boost the local economy. 

"Part of the EDB's mission is to achieve financial products that are accessible to youth, more so amid a pandemic. The interest achieved is historical, very attractive and competitive in the market. I know that with this initiative we will be able to promote a new generation of entrepreneurs and these, in turn, will help the country to promote economic development and job creation," he stated.

The initiative stems from Act 35 of 2003, which orders the creation of a loan program aimed at young professionals for the development of small businesses.

Roberto C. Pagán Santiago, director of the Youth Development Program, explained that this resource is available to people between the ages of 21 and 29 and they must comply with the established parameters. "The 'Young Entrepreneur' loan is subject to funding availability, so we encourage those interested to request the aid by the established date," he said.

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