The Best Products to Buy to Help Puerto Rican Small Businesses

Island and ocean under a cloudy sky

Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico in September 2017, many people have reached out to help. In turn, Puerto Rican businesses have also begun trying to help one another. As a result, we’ve seen increased products made or branded as “Puerto Rican” or “for Puerto Ricans.” These products include t-shirts, mugs, other merchandise, and food items like hot sauces or packaged snacks. If you’re looking to support Puerto Rican small business owners following this natural disaster, here is a list of the products to buy to help Puerto Rican small businesses. Each of these options is manufactured by a small business owned by someone who lives in Puerto Rico. 

Why Should You Buy From Puerto Rican Small Businesses?

So, you’re probably wondering why you should buy from Puerto Rican small businesses. Well, here are just a few reasons:

  • You’re supporting your local community. When you buy from a small business, you’re helping to keep your community strong.
  • You’re helping to create jobs. Most jobs are created by small enterprises, which are the backbone of the economy.
  • You’re getting high-quality products. Small businesses often have a personal connection to their products and take pride in their work.
  • You’re preserving Puerto Rican culture. By buying from Puerto Rican small businesses, you’re keeping traditional crafts and recipes alive.

So, what are you waiting for? Start shopping! 

Artisanal Products

Artisanal products are generally made by hand and with locally sourced ingredients. The term “artisanal” is not legally regulated, so it’s essential to look for additional details about how something was made. 

What’s in it? Various plant-based ingredients.

How does it help Puerto Rican small business owners? By purchasing these products, you support the work of artisans who work with locally sourced ingredients. Many of the products in this section are made from ingredients from Puerto Rico, such as coffee beans. Some of the products below are also made by hand. By purchasing these items, you’re supporting a business putting more money into the local economy, and creating more jobs. 

Natural Soaps and Body Care Products

Most soaps are made with chemicals and artificial ingredients, harming the environment and your health. On the other hand, natural soaps and body care products are made with healthy ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, or avocado oil.

Brown sliced soaps
Products to buy to help Puerto Rican small businesses: soap and body care products.

What’s in it: Coconut oil, essential oils, and other locally sourced ingredients.

How does it help Puerto Rican small business owners? You’re supporting small business owners in Puerto Rico when you purchase these products. Some of these products, like the leather wash below, are also made by hand. 

Shrimp-Based Food Items

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a major global supplier of shrimp. To help the country’s shrimp farmers get back on their feet, a company called Lucero Seafood sells shrimp-based products.

What’s in it: 100% shrimp.
How does it help Puerto Rican small business owners? 100% of the profits from Lucero Seafood’s shrimp products will be given to Puerto Rican shrimp farmers, according to our consultants from By purchasing these shrimp-based products, you’re directly supporting Puerto Rican farmers. What’s more, Lucero Seafood’s products are certified sustainable. You are assisting a green and sustainable industry by buying these products. 

Handmade Furniture and Accessories

Many companies are making handmade furniture and other accessories. These products tend to be made with high-quality materials and custom designs and are often one-of-a-kind pieces.

Accent headbands on a white surface.
These products tend to be made with high-quality materials and custom designs and are often one-of-a-kind pieces.

What’s in it? Locally sourced wood, fabrics, and other materials.

How does it help Puerto Rican small business owners? When you purchase handmade furniture or accessories, you’re supporting the work of local craftspeople. What’s more, these products are made with high-quality materials. They may last longer than mass-produced furniture and accessories, creating less waste. With fragile things, you must take more care. Glassware and antiques are examples of these fragile artifacts, which can be manufactured of any material, so you must keep the souvenirs safe when packing and shipping fragile items. They require special care when being sent and packaged. So be sure to check the packaging procedure before ordering.

Commemorative T-Shirts and Mugs

You can find t-shirts and mugs with phrases that commemorate the hurricane, like “Puerto Rico Strong” or “Puerto Rico Se Levanta” (Puerto Rico Rising).

Flag of Puerto Rico painted on the wall.
When you wear or display these t-shirts and mugs, you show your support for Puerto Rico.

What’s in it? Cotton and screen printing.

How does it help Puerto Rican small business owners? When you wear or display these t-shirts and mugs, you’re showing your support for Puerto Rico. What’s more, by purchasing these items, you’re directly helping Puerto Rican small business owners. Some of these t-shirts and mugs are made with ethically sourced and recycled materials. You’re keeping fabrics and other materials out of landfills when you purchase products like these. 

Dulces Típicos (Traditional Candy)

Puerto Rican artisan candy manufacturers use all the tropical fruits on the island. Fresh indigenous fruits, including coconut, pineapple, guava, papaya, and many others, are used to make traditional candies. Fruit pastes, also known as Pastas de Frutas (Fruit Paste), are created by combining sugar and fruit pulp in small, individually wrapped packages. Orange, pineapple, coconut, guava, papaya, and even sweet potato are the tastes you can sample (Batata). Toasted sesame seeds and sugar are combined to make ajonjoli candy, sliced into little squares. This candy is highly addictive due to the toasted ajonjoli flavor and the sugar’s sweetness. Any artisan fair will have dulces típicos on hand. At Herencia Borincana, Edgardo Rivera is a well-known craftsman. However, a little more commercial, supermarkets all around the island carry goods like Dulzura Borincana. 

Güiro and Maracas

The Güiro is a crucial component of Puerto Rican folk music, a significant part of the island nation’s culture. A cylindrical-shaped gourd is used to make a giro. After drying, it has parallel grooves etched into it. A puya, a set of wire tines in a wooden handle, is used to play it by rubbing it along the grooves to create a ratchet sound.

The maracas are a significant gourd-based instrument (rattles). It is a circular gourd with seeds placed inside for sound production, and the aperture has a wooden handle attached. It is typically played as a set and shaken by the handle. 


When you buy from these brands on the list of products to help Puerto Rican small businesses, you’re supporting Puerto Rican small business owners trying to rebuild their lives. In turn, these business owners can reinvest their revenue into the economy, providing jobs and helping to rebuild Puerto Rico from the ground up.

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