Photo: Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has unveiled a new program to help micro and small enterprises based in regions hit hard last month by two hurricanes.
The program will channel 525 million pesos ($39 million) in assistance to microenterprises based in municipalities declared natural disaster areas, the head of state said in presenting the Economic Reactivation Program for Micro and Small Enterprises.
Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel, which struck Mexico’s Gulf coast and Pacific coast, respectively, left 157 dead and dozens more missing. They affected a total of 1.7 million people and caused significant damage to property and infrastructure.
The program will free up loans to these businesses so they can get back on their feet and not be forced to shed jobs, the president, who was joined by Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray, said.
Quick action is needed so “temporary losses do not lead to permanent loss of businesses, jobs and income,” Peña Nieto added.
Videgaray, for his part, said 79 percent of municipalities affected by the hurricanes nationwide are areas with medium, high or very high levels of marginalization, meaning that the hurricane damage was concentrated in the poorest communities.
Most jobs in those areas are provided by small businesses and microenterprises that do not have the resources to cope with the loss of productive equipment and other assets.