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San Germans Bay-Tex To Reopen
Company Was Forced To Agree Not To Seek Assistance From Pridco
By MARIALBA MARTINEZ
November 27, 2003
Bay-Tex International Corp. will try to reopen its apparel manufacturing plant in San German in January 2004 without financial aid or incentives from the government, both of which the company lost in 2000, said Bay-Tex President Carlos Troche.
In June 1999, Bay-Tex began operations from a 35,000-square-foot building owned by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco) at San Germans Retiro Industrial Park. The company produced T-shirts for customers on the U.S. mainland and Japan. Bay-Tex started with 50 employees and eventually expanded to 102, although its job commitment with Pridco was for 200 employees.
According to a Pridco spokesperson, in mid-2002 the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank (EDB) and Pridco shut down Bay-Texs operations for accumulating $32,182 in equipment debt and for not paying rent. In December 2002, Pridco wrote a new contract with Bay-Tex for five years, providing the manufacturer with free rent for six months and charging a $4,365 monthly lease thereafter.
Allegedly, Bay-Tex didnt honor that agreement and Pridco took the company to court. After winning several legal cases, Pridco made Bay-Tex sign an agreement so it could reopen the plant as long as it didnt request additional loans or incentives of the agency.
Bay-Texs Troche told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS Pridco sued the plant to recover $876 in debt and the courts ruled that EDBs impounding of his equipment was illegal.
"The initial Pridco loan was for $200,000 but we received only $74,000," said Troche. "Regardless of whether Pridco grants us incentives, I already have a power plant installed and plan to open in January, even if we have to work by candlelight. But it will be very difficult for us to operate the plant without Pridcos support."
Troche said he is in negotiations with several companies on the U.S. mainland and is vying for a military contract. "We have interviewed more than 600 job candidates for our plant, not only the employees we had but some who fear they will lose their jobs if Pride merica [another apparel manufacturer in San German] closes."
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.