STRENGTH – Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, the executive director of the Financial Advisory Authority and Fiscal Agency (AAFAF) Omar Marrero Díaz and the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) and president of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Company , Manuel Laboy Rivera, announced on Monday that the government allocated an additional $ 50 million to the assistance program for businesses in the tourism industry impacted by the decline in that sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The program seeks to provide operational support for business interruption as a result of COVID-19. In addition to the initially eligible entities, through the expanded program, additional funds will be distributed to regulated hotels and new funds to strategic projects based on public policy determinations, ”the first executive said in written communication.
Marrero Díaz indicated: “We have already allocated aid to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus in the tourism industry, which is one of the economic sectors most affected by COVID-19. This additional economic stimulus package will serve to maintain Puerto Rico’s competitiveness as a tourist destination during and after the emergency.
The government originally allocated $ 50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to help businesses in the tourism industry cover their necessary expenses. This industry had been affected by the closures caused by COVID-19 that occurred at the beginning of the peak season in tourism. With the development of the pandemic, most tourism businesses and businesses have not been able to stabilize due to the response to COVID-19 that includes restrictions for tourists on the island.
“With this allocation, the Government of Puerto Rico has allocated $ 100 million in aid to the tourism industry. We will continue working so that this, as well as other key sectors of the Puerto Rico economy, can have the necessary tools to cope with this period and can get up and continue operating as usual, ”added Marrero Díaz.
For his part, the secretary of the DDEC indicated: “We are committed to supporting the tourism sector with the aid available from the government and the private sector in the recovery process. We are confident that within the situation we face worldwide and respecting public health standards, we will be able to reestablish this important industry for the economic development of the Island. We have several high-impact projects pending inauguration that will be great attractions for tourists, both local and foreign, “Laboy Rivera said.
In turn, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Carla Campos, said that, “from the Tourism Company we are proud of the work carried out directly with AAFAF in recent months to create the Fund’s tourism assistance program. of Coronavirus Relief and facilitate the disbursement of the first phase of aid to the sector in an agile way with the Department of the Treasury. With these grants, many tourism companies have managed to prepare and survive in a complex and unprecedented scenario. We welcome this second assignment and we will work hand in hand with AAFAF and the Treasury to make sure that the money reaches tourism companies throughout the island as soon as possible ”.
For more information on this and other assistance programs to different economic sectors in response to the emergency caused by the coronavirus, visit the COVID-19 resource center at https://www.aafaf.pr.gov/covid- 19-resource-center /.