DDEC, BDE reduce interest rate on loans aimed at young entrepreneurs

By The Star Staff

Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Manuel Laboy Rivera and Economic Development Bank (BDE by its Spanish initials) President Pablo Muñiz Reyes signed a collaborative agreement on Tuesday that reduces to 3 percent the interest that is paid on loans under the “Young Entrepreneur” initiative of the DDEC’s Youth Development Program (PDJ by its Spanish initials).

“After discussions with the Economic Development Bank, we agreed to reduce the interest [rate] on the loan, which was previously eight percent,” Laboy Rivera said in a written statement. “We urge young people with business plans to orient themselves and apply for this loan, which will now have a low interest rate of 3 percent, on or before November 9. Since we announced the availability of $1 million to help the establishment of 100 micro-businesses, 30 cases have been processed and of these 23 loans are close to completing the banking process, so that $230,000 will be disbursed soon, under the new interest rate.”

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced noted that “through ‘Young Entrepreneur,’ applicants will receive funds to direct their business proposals.”

“This initiative translates into investment and job creation, which follows one of the main objectives of our administration, to empower youth and offer them viable alternatives so that they can be part of the economic development of Puerto Rico,” she said.

The BDE president said “the mission of this administration is to ensure that Puerto Ricans can implement their business dreams.”

“It is part of the mission of the Economic Development Bank to achieve financial products that are accessible to youth and others in the midst of a pandemic,” Muñiz Reyes said. “The interest achieved is historic, 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 they in turn will help the country promote economic development and job creation.”

The initiative has gone into effect by way of Law 35 of 2003, which orders the creation of a loan program aimed at young people for the development of small businesses.

PDJ Director Roberto Carlos Pagán Santiago said “the young people who can qualify for this program are those who are going to develop new businesses, between the ages of 21 and 29 years, and who meet the requirements established by our program and the Economic Development Bank.”

“The ‘Young Entrepreneur’ loan is subject to the availability of funds,” he noted. “For this reason we invite those interested to request the aid on or before the established deadline.”

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