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Author: Daniel Ziebarth

New media campaign in Puerto Rico reflects progress and a positive image

Central to growing the Puerto Rican economy, attracting promising and reliable companies, organizations, citizens, and visitors is of ever growing importance. The organization Discover Puerto Rico is now the official platform for marketing tourism throughout the US territory. Discover Puerto Rico highlights experiences and destinations across all reaches of Puerto Rico, while providing easy-to-use access to information on a variety of local activities, including beaches, culture, food, golf, and shopping. Recently, Discover Puerto Rico has launched a social media campaign entitled “#CoverTheProgress”, designed to increase public awareness and positive press about the continuing progress in both physical and economic...

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Amid struggles, PREPA moves towards privatization

On Wednesday, June 20, Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico signed into law a bill which will move the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) towards privatization. The law will seek to sell the power generation units currently controlled by PREPA, while concurrently attempting to enter into lease agreements for the authority’s distribution and transmission system. PREPA currently holds approximately $8.9 billion in debt, with revenue earned from sales and lease agreements planned to assist in paying off a portion of the current outstanding debt. This move will be made in hopes that Puerto Rico becomes more competitive in...

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BrainHi becomes first Puerto Rican startup to be accepted to YCombinator

BrainHi, a technology startup company focusing on utilizing artificial intelligence to provide automated receptionist services to medical offices, recently announced that it became the first Puerto Rican company to be accepted into Y Combinator. Y Combinator is an influential venture capital firm founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2005, before moving to Mountain View, California in Silicon Valley as the company expanded operations. The goal of Y Combinator is to provide startup companies seed funding for the first phase of development, to the point at which they are able to generate significant second phase funding and beyond to continue organizational...

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Revised Puerto Rico fiscal plan confronts complicated questions

In the wake of political standoff and debate, Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico introduced a revised fiscal plan for the territory. The revised plan, published on Thursday, April 6, remained controversial as massive cuts to previous funding have been outlined to hopefully pull Puerto Rico out of fiscal debt. The newly presented plan posits a surplus in excess of $6 billion by the year 2023, with a total surplus of $7.36 billion following the inclusion of non-recurring items. However, there remain those who challenge the plan, arguing that the expectation models are overly optimistic in the assessment of...

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Puerto Rico school closures signal possible brain drain

The citizens of Puerto Rico are working hard to overcome the economic, social, and emotional aftermath left behind after Hurricane Maria slammed the islands on September 2017. The storm blew back a curtain that revealed a lush but treacherous paradise, illuminated by high unemployment rates, a crumbling infrastructure, enormous debt, and an uncertain business environment. It also revealed that the Puerto Rican government had completely failed to invest in its people for the future to build a stable system. Puerto Rico’s Department of Education announced Thursday that it would close 283 schools this summer, a 25% reduction in the...

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