With support from the Economic Development Administration, the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension nonprofit launched the Business Resilience and Continuity program through which 350 manufacturing companies on the island will benefit from creating and having a business continuity plan.

The project was achieved through an allocation of funds that PRiMEX requested and obtained from the EDA, company officials said.

The plan will be “instrumental to preserve jobs, improve the capabilities of small and medium enterprises and manufacturers related to the recovery after business interruptions due to unforeseen situations and disasters to minimize the potential economic dislocations,” said program director Francisco García.

“The project has three components; advice and direct assistance, education and training to share knowledge and providing tools and information through a web page to help with business continuity planning.” He said.

The selection of the companies will be based on geographic location, degree of physical and economic damage caused by last year’s hurricanes to its operations and the need for technical assistance.

“We will give priority to businesses located in the hurricane hit areas, particularly in the north, south, east and center of Puerto Rico. We’ll have trained resources in five regions across Puerto Rico to serve the entire island,” García said.

The counseling component involves working with small and medium manufacturing enterprises to conduct a risk analysis and business impact, identifying critical processes and develop a tailored business continuity plan.

“The main objective of this component is to minimize the risk of business failures or shutdowns due to potential disruptions from natural disasters or uncontrolled interruptions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the education and training component focuses on business resilience and disaster recovery planning.

“In June, we will hold several training sessions in different regions of the island that will be led by PRiMEX project managers and resources specialized in issues of business continuity and impact to suppliers, employees, energy, logistics resources, insurance, facilities management and communications,” García said.

Finally, the program will provide tools to be shared on a PRiMEX web page relevant to business continuity plans. The latter component also involves sharing information about resources available for disaster recovery in different regions.

“The added value will be selecting highly relevant sources of information, providing tools for business continuity and disaster recovery. Such shared information will be more relevant and less intimidating for entrepreneurs and managers. The information is regularly updated by PRiMEX to ensure its relevance,” García added.