Actualidad Puerto Rico

Amendments to the Law of Support to SMEs

Law 248/2015

On 29th December, the Amendment Law to the Law of Support to Microenterprises, Small and Medium-sized Enterpises (Law of Amendments) was enacted. The Law reinforces the measures adopted in the 2014 Law of Support to SMEs and endows the sector with more resources as a result of the positive impact that these measures have had on the local economy.  

One of the measures adopted in the 2014 Law of Support was to allocate 20% of the Government’s procurement budget to purchases from microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. The recent Law of Amendments raised this percentage to 30% for the fiscal year 2016-2017 and establishes a progressive increase from then until 2020-2021. The percentages it sets forth are as follows:  

- 30% for fiscal year 2016-2017

- 32% for fiscal year 2017-2018

- 35% for fiscal year 2018-2019

- 38% for fiscal year 2019-2020

- 40% for fiscal year 2020-2021

According to the annual report from the SME Support Board (Junta de Apoyo a las Pymes), in 2014 USD 157m were spent on purchases from the sector, compared to the USD 83m in 2013, and 146 new enterprises were filed under the government’s Procurement Reserves Programme

Another important aspect of the Law of Amendments is that it assigns new funds for employability and training in the sector. The 2014 law set out a policy of preferences for government subsidies, granting incentives to companies for creating jobs and enhancing employee training. The Law of Amendments specifies that the funds allocated by the 1998 Workforce Investment Act for capacity building for employees will be used for the Microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprise sector and the regulations for the use of these funds will be referred to the Department of Economic Development and Trade for development.