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  • The San Juan Daily Star

House committee hears testimony on bill to expand Small and Medium Business eligibility

By John McPhaul

The House Small and Medium Business and Permisology Committee chaired by Rep. Jessie Cortés Ramos, heard testimony Monday on a bill that seeks to expand the categories of Eligible SMEs with Net Operating Losses to include those companies that have started operations in a date after January 1, 2014.

The bill would also provide for the partial reimbursement of salaries to the new state minimum wage established by Law 47-2021.

House Bill 1081 would amend Law 120-2014, known as the Law on Incentives for the Generation and Retention of Jobs in SMEs.

The measure also seeks to add a new article to Law 120, for the purpose of requiring an Annual Report performance of the provisions of the Law.

Likewise, it would amend Law 72-1956, known as the Employment Security Law of Puerto Rico, to clarify the source of financing for the partial reimbursement of salaries.

“SMEs have a great challenge in the country with the inflation of fuel prices, operating expenses, the rise in the price of gas, electricity, water, among other things, and it is essential to seek alternatives for them. In addition, it is important that we can come out with a measure extremely supportive and serious for these companies, together with the Government,” said Cortés Ramos, chairman of the committee.

House Bill 1081, authored by Rep. José B. Márquez Reyes, received broad support from financial institutions on the first day of public hearings.

Mainly, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) supported the measure, after highlighting that SMEs have a vital role in the economy of Puerto Rico.

“These represent the source of jobs and income for hundreds and thousands of Puerto Ricans, and They constitute an important link in the supply chain of most sectors. of the island,” said the DDEC chief Enid Cruz Alfaro, who added that she sees with approval that they would like to promote the creation of new SMEs, as well as the expansion and retention of jobs in existing ones.

On the other hand, Naomi Álamo from the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish acronym) highlighted that since the approval of Law 120-2014, the partial salary reimbursements have gone into effect.

“This law (120-2014) mentions that the incentive will be managed through the Employment Promotion Bureau of the DTRH through the mechanisms provided under Law 52-1991. Currently, the DDEC grants some incentives, but it falls on our government agency to manage and monitor the disbursements of the Fund,” she said.

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