He told Caribbean Business that a survey conducted by the organization revealed, more than a month after Hurricane Maria’s passage, that about 35% of small and midsize businesses have not resumed operations because they do not have electricity.
“Many of those that are operating are using generators but will have to shut down because their generators are failing and they cannot get parts to repair them. We already have several restaurants that have collapsed,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said Thursday that about 400 retailers visited CUD’s offices to seek help for their businesses. “Of these, 80% were not operating.”
The outlook for retailers is made worse by the fact that as of Friday, funds from the Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN by its Spanish acronym) were not available to beneficiaries, so they are not able to buy supplies from small and midsize merchants.
“Thousands of small businesses depend substantially on the customers who enjoy this benefit, who account for about 38% of the population, according to government figures,” he said.
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