The Yucatán small-business chamber of commerce is offering independent shop owners the opportunity to purchase solar panels through a new program.
The intention is to help small businesses continue to operate despite ever-increasing energy costs.
The program is open to several types of business but targeted toward independent corner shops known locally as tienditas — literally small stores.
Small-business owners will be able to purchase solar panels with no money down and a low-interest loan payable at the end of every month.
“The idea here is to help these types of businesses stay afloat as the cost of energy is making them more and more unfeasible every day,” said Jorge Cardeña Licona of Mérida’s small-business chamber of commerce.
Solar panels have increased in popularity across Mexico over the past decade due to their relatively low cost and increased efficiency.
The arrival in the 1990s of large domestic and international franchised retail competitors has hurt tienditas, especially in larger urban areas.
However, these small shops remain tremendously important in smaller communities as they are often the only source for several household goods.
In many communities, these shops also serve as important social hubs and oftentimes even set up small tables outside for the proprietors and customers to play cards, dominoes, or just talk about the town’s goings-on.