Resources and tools for retail stores’ economic resilience in Puerto Rico

In an effort to support the economic resilience of small businesses on the island, Foundation for Puerto Rico joined forces with Clinton Global Initiative to launch the Puerto Rico Small Business Recovery Series, a set of webinars targeting diverse economic sectors including retail, food service, artists and tourism.

During the first workshop for retail stores, Colmena 66, eBay, Empresas Fonalledas and Time Equities, Inc. shared information and resources useful for small businesses to adapt to COVID-19 and other economic upheavals, and boost development on the island.

Today, 81% of the private sector workforce comes from small establishments in Puerto Rico. As a result of the pandemic, a third have filed for unemployment and 12,000 businesses will not reopen, according to Erika Kruszel, manager at Clinton Global Initiative.

Denisse Rodríguez, executive director of Colmena 66, offered tools to facilitate the process of developing a business. Through its website, entrepreneurs can access various resources such as El Boricua Emprende Fest, a compilation of 12 webinars on digital education, and its resource browser, which serves as a directory of entities and services needed to start or grow your business. To learn more about the organization, you can visit their website.

Given the circumstances of the pandemic, e-commerce is presented as a different form of commerce. Through e-commerce, platforms like eBay, manage to connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world. According to Xavier Aguirre, eBay’s business development manager, it was estimated that by 2022, 20% of purchases would be made through the Internet. However, the pandemic increased that percentage. With these e-commerce platforms, the entrepreneur makes a minimal investment, leverages traffic and tools, receives collaboration and support, and accesses global demand. The platform has a website to help the seller, where it provides more information, resources and online support. Access it here.

On the other hand, Juan Román, director of strategic operations of Empresas Fonalledas, shares some recommendations to be successful in difficult times and how small businesses can learn to strengthen their economic resilience. Román emphasizes the importance of reinventing yourself and innovating in difficult times to keep the company afloat.

Likewise, Ami Ziff, director of national retail sales for Time Equities, Inc, highlights innovation to meet change in demand. He also discusses different ways to reach the public despite the circumstances and how to assume a key role for consumers.

To learn about other resources available to entrepreneurs and business people, you can access the workshop here.

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