Do you want to move back to Puerto Rico, but are concerned about the economy and job prospects? You’re not alone. The island’s economy has taken hit after hit with all of the hurricanes, adding to the overall perception that the island doesn’t have much of an economy. With this, many young Puerto Ricans—the island’s future—are leaving and moving to the U.S. If you’re planning to stay, or to move back, however, there are some business ideas that can help you make a living on the island.
Why Start a Business in Puerto Rico?
If you’re a Puerto Rican already living in the U.S., you’re most likely already seeing what is happening to the homeland from a distance. You might be thinking that starting a business on the island is a laughable idea given the current economic challenges. You want to move back home, but you’re not sure how you will survive.
While it might be true that job prospects on the island aren’t what they once were, there are some excellent opportunities to start a business and employ more locals back home. Many successful people both past and present have found, and still find, victories by looking for the opportunities in current problems.
In Puerto Rico, there are a plethora of problems with the economy that need fixing, so why not be one of the island’s much-needed entrepreneurial heroes? Below are 5 business ideas to consider if you’re wanting to move back to the island and be part of a stronger future for the home you love.
Hotels and Vacation Homes
Opening, building, or running a hotel or a series of vacation homes is an excellent business to break into in Puerto Rico. Why? Because tourism is climbing and many Caribbean Cruise ships are bringing tons of tourists to the island, making home a hot vacation spot. Due to this, hotels are always booking up, which means there’s an opportunity to help increase that traffic by adding more hotels or improving on existing ones.
All of the more recent tragic hurricanes didn’t stop Puerto Rico’s tourism, they actually increased it. To add to this, The New York Times listed the island as the top tourist destination in a 2019 article. Vacation rentals are currently earning over 15 billion in the U.S. alone. There really is nothing but opportunity for the hospitality industry back home.
With tourism up, the need for restaurants serving local cuisine is also in demand. Restaurant ideas could include adding more farm-to-table type restaurants to help support and sustain the island’s agriculture industry, and today’s more socially conscious tourists will flock to these types of dining spots.
You also might want to consider a café that serves coffee made from Puerto Rican beans for modern tourists. Eating spots that sell popular island street foods would be great for tourists coming through for a day or two as well. With any restaurant idea, location and accessibility paired with a brilliant concept such as supporting the island’s farms could easily make your restaurant a tremendous success.
Tourism and Transportation Services
With the surging tourism back home, starting a travel agency will really get you in the game. Since you’re from the island, you most likely know all of the best spots off the beaten path that tourists will pay good money to see.
Many of those spots could be on one of the surrounding islands or beach areas, and there’s no better way to add value to your tourism business in Puerto Rico than by adding transportation services. You could add boats, ferries, canoes, as well as some ground transportation services. When adding this option, the profits will be yours and could be for years to come since you will be offering a full-service travel and transportation service to your clients.
Importing, Exporting, and Shipping Business Opportunities
As you most likely know, shipping pretty much anything to Puerto Rico is expensive and almost hardly worth the trouble and the cost. This is where owning ships and allowing your fellow islanders to order products and pay a better shipping rate compared to what most transport companies currently offer comes in. This will require some capital; however, this is a current problem whose solution has the potential to really help the island grow.
The importing and exporting opportunities are huge in Puerto Rico, especially since duties are not applied when exporting goods from the U.S., the costs can be cut down even further with the proper export license of course. This will allow more goods to be shipped to Puerto Rico and will help more people to open up businesses who sell products that don’t require the consumer to pay high shipping costs.
Web-Based Business Ideas
Starting an e-commerce business is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start a business and move back to Puerto Rico. You can start the business while living in the U.S., meet with and set up supplier accounts, build up some good traction, and start packing your bags back to the beach.
If you can get the right pricing established, you may be able to set up a business that exclusively ships items to Puerto Rico. Starting an online business will help you make some extra money before heading home and could help you raise some capital to start one of the above-listed ventures so you can show banks and lenders that you have some skin in the game.
Other types of web-based businesses could include a services-based business such as coaching or education. You could also start a blog and advertise. When it comes to online business opportunities, the sky is literally the limit, and you can live anywhere you want. So if brick-and-mortar type businesses aren’t your thing, an internet business could also buy you that ticket back home.
With many big publications touting Puerto Rico as one of the top tourist destinations, you really cannot go wrong with moving back and starting up a business. While there is some research and planning involved to help you get set up for the best business opportunity for you and for the island, it could be well worth it so you can get back home and be a positive part of Puerto Rico’s future growth.
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