John C. Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is in Puerto Rico where he has met with cooperative executives to learn about the current situation in the sector, which has been affected by Hurricane Maria and later, the pandemic.
The collaboration between Inclusiv and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began in 2018, explains director René Vargas Martínez, director of the Network of Inclusiv cooperatives in Puerto Rico.
“As part of this joint work, we have been able to channel funds, resources, and tools that were not available in the past to strengthen cooperatives and expand their management in all communities. We will continue to work together with our affiliated cooperatives, the Association of Executives of Cooperatives of Puerto Rico (ASEC), the Corporation for Insurance and Supervision of Cooperatives (COSSEC) and the Bank to attract capital and tools that promote the economic development of Puerto Rico, with the cooperatives as its main manager”, expressed Vargas.
Since 2018, the cooperative sector has received nearly $70 million in federal funds through the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), established by the United States Department of the Treasury, to develop community development initiatives. According to Vargas, some 79 Puerto Rican cooperatives certified by the CDFI could benefit from a new allocation that exceeds $1,000 million, and that would serve to attract new investment and more opportunities for the sector.
“Thanks to Inclusiv, COSSEC and the cooperative leaders present at our meeting, where we had the opportunity to learn about the financial system of Puerto Rico, its history of community development, economic impact, resilience initiatives, challenges and opportunities to help expand finances. community inclusion and development efforts,” said the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The meeting, which took place at the Jesús Obrero Savings and Credit Cooperative, was attended by executives from the Aiboniteña Cooperative, Camuy Cooperative, CooPACA Cooperative, Cristóbal Rodríguez Hidalgo Cooperative, Manuel Zeno Gandía Cooperative, Jesús Obrero Cooperative, Lajas Cooperative, La Sagrada Familia and the Maunabo Cooperative.
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