Promoting Economic Opportunity on National News

Promoting Economic Opportunity on National News

NPRChamber Promotes Economic Opportunity on Inside Story with Ray Suarez

What is the reason behind Puerto Rico’s economic crisis?  And, what can we do about it?

Those were the questions posed by award-winning host Ray Suarez this week on his new show, Inside Story.  Finding answer to these questions is the reason The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce was founded.

By now, you’ve probably all seen the dozens of high-profile news stories discussing the poor shape that Puerto Rico’s economy is in.  Yes, Puerto Rico has high unemployment, a low labor force participation rate, a shrinking economy, the worst form of “brain drain” in the country, and debt so high that the nation’s credit-raters all gave a thumb’s down to its economic outlook.

Our founder, Justin Vélez-Hagan, had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mr. Suarez on Inside Story this week.  During the show, he suggested that boosting incentives for entrepreneurship is one of many ways in which Puerto Ricans can begin participating and contributing at a greater rate.

In our opinion, there’s no reason for Puerto Rico’s economy to remain in a seemingly endless recession.  There is so much that can be done, especially with a resilient and entrepreneurial population that seems to have no options left and nothing but the will to improve.

“Programs, including grants and training programs, are ways in which entrepreneurship can be boosted,” says Justin, citing some of the resources that The NPRChamber offers.

But, in some of his other writings and interviews, he’s often quoted as saying that reducing the difficulty of navigating the business environment, eliminating the disparate tax treatment towards domestic employers, and even targeting very specific, and high growth, industries for residence in Puerto Rico are other great ways that other, similar countries have successfully bolstered their economies.

There’s so much that can be done, that frankly, we’re overwhelmed.  We can’t possibly do it alone anymore.  We need your help to continue marketing to the companies and individuals who are willing to make the long-term investments needed to turn Puerto Rico around and we need to continuing letting the world know that Puerto Rico really is the best place in the Caribbean to visit, so that they can experience falling in love with la isla del encanto like the rest of us!

We’re tiny, but productive . . .

We’ve been able to make tremendous strides with miniscule resources to date.  In two examples, we’ve helped establish a luxury resort in Culebra and are in the process of bringing a billion dollar private equity firm to the island, not to mention the dozens of other businesses and hundreds of jobs that we’ve helped establish.  Due to our unique experience and established expertise, many potential investors from Puerto Rico, the mainland U.S., and even from around the world are turning to The NPRChamber for help.

What can you do to contribute?  Well, might you consider Puerto Rico for your next vacation spot?  Even if you’re from the island, chances are there are quite a few secluded jewels tucked away you haven’t seen before.  If you aren’t from PR, our [very biased] opinion will tell you that there are few prettier places on Earth!

But there are a few other ways you can help.  Of course, we can use as much financial assistance as we can get so that our own resources aren’t stretched so thin.  We quite literally receive more requests for assistance than we can possibly handle at this time.  Many who attempt to self-navigate the bureaucratic waters of the Puerto Rican government, turn to our experts instead, to insure a smoother, happier start-up experience.

Some of our experts on the island are overworked professionals themselves, others are simply out-of-work volunteers who’ve decided that they can at least try to help others to turn their island around!  There are so many touching stories we can tell.

But, we also need your expertise as volunteer advisors, your connections in government and your own businesses, and your own fundraising brilliance to give us the jolt and edge that we need to serve the people who deserve so much more.

Alone we can only do so much, but as the old adage goes, together we can do anything.  For us, we will do everything we can.

–The NPRChamber Staff

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