Non-profit praises Lin-Manuel Miranda's efforts to help Puerto Rico's small businesses by bringing 'Hamilton' to San Juan

In the fall of 2018, Lin-Manuel Miranda announced he would be reprising the titular role in his hit play "Hamilton" for a limited number of performances in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The announcement sparked excitement and hope among local businesses and communities still reeling from the devastation following Hurricane Maria in September 2017. 

Miranda, a Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize recipient, has been a vocal advocate for Puerto Rico since it was ravaged by the Category 4 storm, which crippled its infrastructure and compounded its economic woes. He has partnered with several major corporations, including JetBlue, the island's biggest airline carrier, American Express and Marriott, to promote Puerto Rico as a tourist destination and hopefully help stimulate its economy.

"People are going to come to Puerto Rico because of 'Hamilton,' and hopefully spend a lot of money here in small businesses on the island," Miranda said after 'Hamilton's opening performance, according to Business Insider. "But they're also going to see how much work is left to be done."

RELATED: Lin-Manuel Miranda brings 'Hamilton' to San Juan

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Lin-Manuel Miranda brings Hamilton to San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Lin-Manuel Miranda brings Hamilton to San Juan, Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' say goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' say goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' say goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' say goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' at the end of their performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' at the end of their performance during the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda says goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance at the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda says goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance at the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda says goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance at the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 27: Lin-Manuel Miranda says goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance at the closing night of 'Hamilton' at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 12: Lin-Manuel Miranda attends a meet and greet as American Express Celebrates The Opening Weekend Of Hamilton on January 12, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for American Express)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 12: Lin-Manuel Miranda attends a meet and greet as American Express Celebrates The Opening Weekend Of Hamilton on January 12, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for American Express)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 994 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Jimmy Fallon during an interview with 'Hamilton' composer Lin-Manuel Miranda on January 15, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photobank))
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 994 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Jimmy Fallon, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, and actor Rubén J. Carbajal during a performance from 'Hamilton' on January 15, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photobank)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 994 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Jimmy Fallon, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, and actor Rubén J. Carbajal during a performance from 'Hamilton' on January 15, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photobank)
SAN JUAN, PR - January 11: Lin Manuel Miranda thanks the audience after his performance of the award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton, in Puerto Rico. Miranda, brings up his theater masterpiece to Puerto Rico in an effort to donate money for the Island. San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin-Manuel Miranda at the press conference following the 'Hamilton' opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin-Manuel Miranda at the press conference following the 'Hamilton' opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin-Manuel Miranda at the press conference following the 'Hamilton' opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin- Manuel Miranda with the cast of Hamilton speaks to the audience at the end of the play as part of the opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin- Manuel Miranda with the cast of Hamilton speaks to the audience at the end of the play as part of the opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin- Manuel Miranda with the cast of Hamilton speaks to the audience at the end of the play as part of the opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin- Manuel Miranda with the cast of Hamilton speaks to the audience at the end of the play as part of the opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JANUARY 11: Lin- Manuel Miranda with the cast of Hamilton speaks to the audience at the end of the play as part of the opening night at Centro de Bellas Artes on January 11, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images for 'Hamilton')
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Profits from the 'Hamilton' performances in San Juan will be donated to Flamboyan Arts Fund, an organization founded by Miranda in 2018 that is dedicated to nurturing, preserving and sustaining the arts in Puerto Rico. Additional organizations who impact thousands of people will also see some of the profits, including the Hispanic Federation, a non-profit membership organization located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that works to uplift Hispanic children, families and grassroots non-profits, especially in times of need. 

One Puerto Rican non-profit grantee of the Hispanic Federation, Grupo Guayacán, Inc. (GGI), is working directly with entrepreneurs to help, support and grow small businesses throughout Puerto Rico. 

"[The Hispanic Federation] was one of the first funders for us outside of Puerto Rico that were willing to put money to work in local communities and also support organizations like ours, which work directly with small businesses," GGI's Strategic Development Manager Gabriela Álvarez told AOL Finance. "Immediately after the emergency stage, they were very quick to start looking for projects that would support the long term recovery of Puerto Rico and supporting small businesses is a huge part of that."

Post-Hurricane Maria, GGI supplied local small businesses with over $360,000 in emergency funding. The non-profit organization directly supported and assisted 106 businesses, helping to keep over 1,500 workers employed during the aftermath of one of the worst disasters in the island's history. 

"Working capital is the most immediate need," GGI's Executive Director Laura Cantero told AOL Finance. "[Small businesses] need to keep doors open until the emergency is over."

The organization assists entrepreneurs and businesses in every phase from ideation and innovation to growing established companies. 

Small Business alumni of Grupo Guayacán:

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Small Business alumni of Grupo Guayacán
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Small Business alumni of Grupo Guayacán

DameUnBite 

DameUnBite is Puerto Rico's leading online and mobile food ordering company dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants. 

Join-A-Join

Join-a-Join is a marketplace that lets people list, find and book amazing things to do and places to stay.

Tijuana's Bar & Grill

Tijuana’s Bar and Grill is a Mexican cuisine restaurant chain with three company owned restaurants and several franchises in Puerto Rico. 

SUNNE® HEATER

SUNNE® HEATER is a patent-pending solar water heater developed by Sunne Cleantech Lab, a clean energy startup developing renewable products. 

Caribbean Produce

Caribbean Produce Exchange is the main distributor of fruits, vegetables and fresh eggs in Puerto Rico. It is the first company in the Caribbean to obtain the USDA Best Agricultural Practices Certification.

Ticketera

Ticketera is a user-friendly and reliable ticketing solution, that meets the highest U.S. standards in industry legal, accounting and infrastructure processes.

Vaca Negra Inc.

Vaca Negra produces aged cheeses and artisan yogurt with milk from Puerto Rico. Vaca Negra currently makes a range of five different kinds of cheese -- all of them are named after regions of Puerto Rico. They also offer seminars and tours to the public at their Hatillo location. 

Alchavo.com

Alchavo provides payroll, accounting and other financial services to companies of all sizes. 

Rock Solid Technologies

Rock Solid Technologies™ is a software products research and development company with headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico and offices in Texas, North Carolina, Dominican Republic, and Panama. It is a partner of Microsoft and is ranked as one of the leading Information Technology development companies in the Caribbean.

BrainHi

BrainHi is an automated receptionist for medical and dental practices. The product can schedule appointments, manage missed calls, answer questions on Facebook and chat with potential patients on a medical practice's website.

Quality Water Service

Quality Water Service is a Puerto Rican company that has been a pioneer in the bottle-less water cooler industry, operating thousands of dispensers across the island. 

Wovenware

Wovenware is a team of consultants that provides product development services. The team identifies repeatable business challenges that can be solved with adaptable software solutions.

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The 23-year-old organization is working to generate lasting economic development through entrepreneurship programs and access to capital from local and international investors. And Miranda's recent efforts to draw attention to Puerto Rico's small businesses haven't gone unnoticed.

"I think ['Hamilton' in San Juan] is probably one of the most recent events that has had the most impact -- not only in Puerto Rico's recovery and economy, but I think it’s done great, great things for Puerto Rico to be able to envision what we can do," Cantero said. "It's a feel-good testament of the talent that exists locally, and of course, being able to attract people from all over the United States and all over the world to come to Puerto Rico and to see 'Hamilton.'"

Cantero and Álvarez said, now that 'Hamilton's three-week run is over and much of the media is returning to the U.S., the real challenge will be keeping the momentum going. 

"Finding a way to provide long-term engagement with a lot of these players is really the key," Cantero said. "The best way to leverage all the media attention is to be able to provide executable things that can be done immediately to continue to help these businesses."

"I am hopeful that ['Hamilton'] will have ongoing effects to our economy," Cantero added. "Very, very happy it happened and looking forward to what can happen next as a result."

Click here to learn more about Grupo Guayacán, Inc.

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