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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

CCPA webinar acquaints participants with Fiona recovery support

Aixa González Reyes, CCPA President

By John McPhaul

To guide certified public accountants and the community on the financial support available after the impact of Hurricane Fiona, the Certified Public Accountants Association (CCPA by its Spanish initials) held a webinar late last week entitled “Financial Assistance Opportunities and Recovery Process in the Wake of Hurricane Fiona.”

“For us at the CCPA it is very important to promote the economic development of Puerto Rico, which is why it is a priority to hold this type of webinar,” CCPA President Aixa González Reyes said on Friday. “There are few opportunities to bring together in a single activity representatives of different entities, both local and federal, to discuss these issues, and we achieved it in this educational event.”

The event began with a presentation by Vivian Lopéz, contributions specialist in the Treasury Department’s Division of Practice Regulation and Taxpayer Education, who discussed the tax administration measures adopted by the agency. Some of those discussed were related to the filing dates and their postponement; payment of payrolls; collection and garnishment notices; and exemptions for merchants, among other topics. The measures apply to individual income tax returns; corporations; senior credit and compensatory credit for low-income pensioners; and conduit entities and other legal entities.

José Marchand, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s preparedness specialist, detailed FEMA’s response plan and the aid it offers. In his presentation, Marchand said the agency handles emergencies in four phases: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. As of Oct. 17, the agency has approved more than 645,000 requests for assistance. That represents $487 million in individual disaster assistance grants for homeowners and renters.

Also participating was Vivian Dolagaray, executive vice president of commercial strategy and financing of the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico, who presented the bank’s Disaster Relief and Financing Plan. Likewise, she detailed the financing products that the bank offers to support small and midsize enterprises on the island.

Representing the U.S. Small Business Administration, Luis Rodríguez, a lender relations officer, and CPA Ricardo Martínez, the deputy district director for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, discussed the Disaster Assistance Program they offer for entrepreneurs. The assistance is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans to replace or repair a property; inventory; machinery; accessories; and to improve rental properties and equipment that were damaged or destroyed in a disaster and that have not been compensated.

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