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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Center for PR offers services for individuals, small businesses impacted by hurricane

The Center for Puerto Rico’s Community Library in Río Piedras has been helping those affected by last month’s Category 1 hurricane to complete the aid form required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

By The Star Staff

The Sila M. Calderón Center for Puerto Rico (CPR) is assisting individuals and small businesses affected by Hurricane Fiona to apply for federal aid.

“Natural disasters affect all of us, but vulnerable populations suffer disproportionately,” said Sila M. Calderón, president of the nonprofit’s board of directors, in a press release. “The application process can seem complex and intimidating, even when government aid programs are available.”

In the western region, business owners, homeowners and nonprofit organizations that have sustained physical damage or economic loss from Hurricane Fiona can turn to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Recovery Center established at the Women’s Enterprise Center (CEM by its Spanish initials) in Mayagüez.

Active since 2016, CEM is an initiative of the Center for Puerto Rico subsidized in part through a cooperative agreement with SBA. It serves the following municipalities: Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Añasco, Arecibo, Cabo Rojo, Camuy, Guánica, Guayanilla, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Isabela, Lajas, Lares, Las María, Maricao Mayagüez, Moca, Peñuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincón, Sabana Grande, San Germán, San Sebastián, Utuado and Yauco.

Staff is available to serve the public Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays at the Villa Capitán II Building, Highway #2 Km. 159, Suite 204. For more information, interested parties may call 787-805-4500 and write to

Meanwhile, in Río Piedras, the CPR’s Community Library has been helping those affected by last month’s Category 1 hurricane to complete the form required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Many of the people who come to the Library are older adults who face great difficulty with the online application,” noted Luis Gautier Lloveras, president of the nonprofit.

Yamira Borrero, a resident of Río Piedras who filled out her FEMA application at the library, said “it is better to come directly, and they can explain to me what documents I have to bring.”

To complete the FEMA disaster relief application, people must bring photo identification, social security number, date of birth, physical and mailing address, bank account and routing number, and an email to receive information about their application. Service hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Citizens are urged to call 787-765-4500 with any questions.

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