Businesses Still Slow to Recover in Post-Maria Puerto Rico
Six months after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican businesses of all sizes are still struggling to return to normalcy, as power, money, and staffing issues continue to prevent full recovery.
According to the United Retailers Association, 5,000 to 7,000 of the approximately 45,000 small businesses in Puerto Rico remain shuttered. And among those that have reopened, 30% were still relying on generator power and 45% had reduced work hours.
Tourism, one of the region’s biggest businesses, has also been hit. The Humacao area, a popular tourism draw, had nearly 700 businesses operating pre-hurricane. By the November following Maria, 41% were still shut down and only 9% were operating at full capacity.
The biggest problem is electricity – a problem shared by many such businesses in the region. Power still hasn’t been fully restored and power lines still litter the ground, while overtaxed repair crews are stretched to their limits. Even large manufacturers like Bristol-Myers Squibb, which is still relying on generator power.
The DRI Foundation is collecting donations to assist with recovery in areas recently affected by hurricanes. You can add your support by clicking here.