To our partners and collaborators:
As we all know, the global COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect businesses worldwide. Here at Invest Puerto Rico we are monitoring the situation and are aware of the impact it will have on the Island. We are confident in the Puerto Rican people’s ability to face challenges, adapt, transform, and leverage resources to meet obstacles ahead.
I am reaching out to assure you that Invest Puerto Rico continues to further our objectives in the face of a new global reality.
As many of you know, five cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Puerto Rico to date, with up to twenty suspicious cases. As local authorities expect updates from the CDC on recently tested cases, the government has issued an island-wide lockdown on almost all commercial activity. This includes a curfew that runs from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. from now through March 31. Non-essential businesses* remain closed and most are operating under remote work conditions.
Coronavirus represents a new challenge for everyone. Yet we can all play a part in curbing the spread of the disease and, as we take control the situation, supporting the reactivation of the economy. For our part, at Invest Puerto Rico we are doing business under the new paradigm of ‘social distancing’. Since last week we have replaced in-person meetings with video conferences and webinar sessions; re-scheduled events; and developed content that highlights cases of business resilience on the Island to release in the coming weeks. The objective is to continue moving forward in our mission. That said, we are continuously evaluating the progress of the economic impact of COVID-19 to determine how we will address the implications.
Although challenging times lie ahead of us, I feel the current situation merits that we reposition the Island’s competitive advantages in light of the reality of a new global market, whose priorities will not be the same as yesterday’s. Recent events have made the companies that operate on the Island strengthen their business continuity plans and boost the preparedness of their operations, while coaching personnel to be more flexible and resistant to change. We are rightly equipped and positioned to overcome challenges such as the present, and committed to a resilient, prepared, and trained human resource to navigate the impact of crises.
One of the initiatives that Invest Puerto Rico developed to foster the strengthening of the local economy is the portal PuertoRicoSigue.org. We launched this tool of business continuity preparation resources for the benefit of companies island-wide. We will continue expanding the resources available on this portal to include informative material that supports the management of new challenges presented by COVID-19. As an organization dedicated to bringing new business and investment to the island, Invest Puerto Rico is reassessing its promotion plans. Beyond reinvention, now is the ideal time to rethink, reposition and redefine the Island's economic present and future.
Regardless of where our partners and collaborators reside, Invest Puerto Rico will keep you abreast of any developments. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control website for official information about the spread of the virus. They can be found at http://bit.ly/2ICWkAX.
Rodrick T. Miller