NPR

Don't Surrender, Reinvent: The New Mantra Of Small Biz In Puerto Rico

Facing an uncertain future and dim prospects of financial relief, small businesses get support and strength from each other.
Puerto Rican chef Jose Sanchez inside his restaurant Pera Maraya. "Everything was going perfect," says Sanchez, 28. "Then the storm hit." Source: Christina Cala

Just seven months ago, Puerto Rican chef Jose Sanchez opened the restaurant of his dreams: a place where you could feel like you were in Italy one day, and like you were in France the next.

He served up fusion cuisine and called it Pera Maraya. There was deconstructed ratatouille, caprese salad with octopus. The restaurant in Carolina, east of San Juan, was getting rave reviews: five stars on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook. He spent nearly a decade saving up to open this restaurant, and was overjoyed at how quickly it found success.

"Everything was going perfect," says Sanchez, 28. "Then the storm hit."

Hurricane Maria, which blew through

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