SBA 100 Highlights Businesses that are Growing, Creating Jobs with SBA Assistance
DORADO, PR – BLU Caribe is one of the ‘SBA 100’ companies, U.S. Small Business Administration Region II Regional Administrator Jorge Silva-Puras announced today. BLU Caribe, a pharmaceutical company in Dorado that specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of generic tablets, hired nearly 100 employees upon establishing operations last year, and went on to create 140 additional jobs – thanks to financial assistance under the SBA’s 504 Certified Development Company loan program.
The SBA 100 features one hundred businesses that have created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance. Descriptions and a photograph gallery of each of the SBA 100 companies can be found at www.sba.gov/100.
“We are proud to induct BLU Caribe into the SBA 100,” said SBA Regional Administrator Jorge Silva-Puras. “Today, hundreds of individuals are employed and contributing to Puerto Rico’s economy because BLU Caribe took advantage of opportunities available through SBA programs. The SBA 100 is all about recognizing job creation and business growth.”
BLU Caribe is a subsidiary of Kentucky-based BLU Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a certified minority-owned firm that focuses on the manufacturing and distribution of high quality generic pharmaceuticals at competitive prices. A couple of years ago, BLU Pharmaceuticals president William ‘Bill’ Luster was looking for a new solid dosage facility to manufacture generic pharmaceutical products as part of its growth strategy.
Luster’s search for new business opportunities resulted in the purchasing of a 145,000 square foot production plant in Dorado that became available when generic pharmaceuticals firm Biovail decided to transfer its manufacturing operations to Steinbach, Canada, leaving hundreds of people unemployed.
The SBA provided Luster with a $3.6 million loan through the agency’s 504 loan program, with the support of certified development company PYMES Financial Partners Corporation and third-party lender Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico. BLU Caribe began operations in April 2010, re-hiring close to 100 of Biovail’s former employees and producing the first batches of the generic antibiotic ciprofloxacin for the U.S. market. Since opening day, BLU Caribe has grown to 280 employees and plans to continue hiring.
“The SBA’s 504 loan program is one of the agency’s best resources for job creation and economic development,” Silva-Puras said.
The ‘SBA 100’ companies include businesses in a variety of industries, from manufacturing, to food and beverage, to shipping. Each business received SBA support in the form of capital, contracting, counseling or investment before going on to create at least 100 jobs.
The SBA provides small businesses with the tools and resources they need to grow and create jobs. The ‘SBA 100’ is a cross-section of the diverse array of businesses that stand to benefit from SBA assistance. With the help of SBA, the SBA 100 companies have succeeded and created thousands of jobs across America.
Fore more information about the SBA’s programs and services, visit www.sba.gov/pr.