Delegation of the Chamber of Commerce in the federal capital insists on the importance of the transition to SNAP and remaking the electricity grid

Chamber of Commerce delegation takes complaints to Congress and the Department of Energy.

September 26, 2023-The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) last week began a new round of visits to government officials from the executive and legislative branches in the federal capital, focused on promoting the transition from the Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN) to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the reconstruction of the island’s electrical system.
The educational effort, called FACES 5.0 (Federal Affairs Chamber Educational Series) was spearheaded by Ramón Pérez -Blanco, Esq., president of the PRCC; Kenneth Rivera-Robles, Esq., CPA, former president and advisor to the president of the PRCC; José Julio Aparicio, Esq., third vice-president of the PRCC Board of Directors; and Luis E. Pizarro, Esq., president-elect of the PRCC. The delegation included representation from other private sector entities, such as Wanda Pérez, Esq., president of the PR Telecommunications Alliance, as well as a group of local legislators.

«Our message is based on the need for a system based on renewable energy sources, which is cheap and reliable, to stimulate economic activity, reducing one of the main costs of doing business for our merchants,» said Pérez Blanco.

«In our interactions with federal government officials, we have presented the true status of the work to rebuild our electrical system and the importance of addressing the problem of the economic impact on small businesses of electrical instability and service uncertainty that causes a significant loss of income,» reported Aparicio, who is in charge of coordinating the lobbying effort in the federal capital.

Aparicio added that it was also argued about the importance of addressing the problems of electricity supply of hospital and educational institutions to ensure that these services are not affected by service interruptions.

Proposals from the PRCC and the private sector for a new electricity system were presented to the Department of Energy. Other topics discussed included telecommunications, interconnections to solar electric projects, the stability of the electrical system for companies and cultural and sporting events, the use of generators as a temporary solution until the repairs of the electrical system are finished, special measures for hospitals and the elderly.

Officials from the Department of Energy received members of the delegation to discuss potential public policy alternatives to generate greater economic development in Puerto Rico in the short, medium and long term. Topics such as poor access to capital for local merchants, new programs that can make it less difficult to do business in Puerto Rico and the implementation of programs that encourage merchants to expand their businesses were discussed.

The visits included members of Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s office, who sits on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. In addition, the importance of using Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds properly and the possible end of the Affordable Connectivity Program were discussed. This federal subsidy offers a discount of up to $30 for eligible families to pay for their high-speed internet service. Bead provides up to $42.5 billion to expand access to high-speed internet connections by subsidizing planning, infrastructure, deployment, and adoption programs in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

«Once again we made the voice of the private sector and the importance of economic freedom felt in the federal capital for our people to create new businesses,» said Perez Blanco.

Media Contact:
Karen Garnik, APR



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