On May 4th, with a total of 95 deaths on the Island, Puerto Rico reopened financial services and similar one-on-one client services.
Non-coronavirus medical services were allowed to resume, and laundromats and some other public services reopened. Gardening, air conditioning repair, and taxis were among the services allowed. Researchers at the University were allowed to return to work, and hardware stores and mechanics were allowed to stay open five days a week.
May 11 saw the reopening of construction and manufacturing, as long as safety protocols were in place to protect workers from coronavirus infection. Hundreds of businesses got their self-certifications in on time and were able to reopen.
Beginning today, May 18, and continuing gradually through the 25th, Puerto Rico will allow most businesses to reopen and end the curfews which have been keeping residents in their homes most of the time since March.
A long list of industries have been allowed to reopen. Hospitality will be the last, but Puerto Rico’s tourism industry is getting ready. They are positioning Puerto Rico as the safest tropical paradise to visits once travel gets going.
At the same time, 19,691 loans –that’s $ 987.67 million — have been approved in Puerto Rico as Payroll Protection Loans (PPP).
Several different bills are being considered in Congress as ways to increase manufacturing in Puerto Rico.
Luis Fortuno, in a recent interview with Adam Greenfader, listed three reasons Puerto Rico should be able to succeed in providing a perfect location for manufacturers:
- Puerto Rico has a number of mission ready manufacturing plants.
- The manufacturing work force on the island has decades of experience.
- The universities (RUM in particular) develop top recruits for international firms in engineering, life science and technology.
With care, Puerto Rico should be positioned to continue recovering once the pandemic is under control.