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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

González Colón’s proposal to cut down on permits wait time receives support

Several mayors and businessmen agreed that Jenniffer González Colón’s proposal would encourage the desire to do business throughout Puerto Rico and make the permitting process more accessible, especially to small merchants.

By The Star Staff

Jenniffer González Colón’s proposal for an agile and reliable permit system, which the gubernatorial candidate is promoting as a facilitator for economic development, was welcomed this week by mayors and businessmen who agreed that it would encourage the desire to do business throughout the island and make the permitting process more accessible, especially to small merchants, who are the engine of the local economy.

González Colón said she would confer with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on how that state reduced the waiting time for processing permits to 30 days.

Businessman Juan Antonio “Tony” Larrea, who serves as the liaison with the private sector for González Colón’s campaign, said: “The problem with permits is a priority issue that is consistently brought to me when I have met with private sector organizations and small business owners to discuss the situations that Jenniffer must address from the Governor’s Office.”

“This is a concern that I myself have raised publicly as my own businesses have been affected by the delay in permitting procedures,” he said. “The proposals Jenniffer has presented have been very well received by private industry as they would substantially limit the delay, uncertainty and additional costs incurred in managing the issuance of permits, which are supposed to be issued quickly and efficiently, but are a stumbling block to investment in Puerto Rico.”

Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera Cruz noted during a recent press conference that the resident commissioner’s proposal “is very positive for Puerto Rico, not only because it impacts economic development, but it especially helps small and medium-sized businesses, it helps … to eliminate the wait, to eliminate the lines and eliminate the agony with which those permits are issued.”

Every day it takes for a permit to be granted is one less day that a business is being built or operated, Gurabo Mayor Rosachely Rivera Santana said.

“I applaud Jenniffer’s proposal for renewing permit requirements every five years rather than annually, as well as eliminating fees and promoting a one-time fee, as a big step toward improving the agility and management of small and medium-sized businesses and making it easier for the most vulnerable people who need to manage their permits,” she said.

Manatí Mayor José Sánchez González said the restructuring of the government’s permit system in Puerto Rico “is a crucial step toward the modernization and sustainable progress of our society.”

“By promoting efficiency and transparency in permitting processes, we not only facilitate investment and business development, but also foster job creation and economic growth for small and medium-sized merchants,” he said. “It is imperative that we approach this issue with determination and foresight, recognizing that an agile and fair permitting system is critical to building a prosperous and competitive Puerto Rico on the global stage.”

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