Laboratorio Clínico Los Puertos Inc., dedicated to assisting in the diagnosis of clinical pathology, announces its plan to open a third location through a $200,000 loan granted by FirstBank.
This expansion began with the purchase of a $135,000 property in the heart of Bayamón, where the laboratory will reach new social groups and offer additional services.
“We currently offer all types of clinical laboratories: hematology, serology, urinalysis and more,” said Alexandra López, founder of Los Puertos Inc. “In this new lab, we are bringing new, innovative equipment that will allow us to become a reference laboratory, do high volume routines, and specialty testing.”
Los Puertos, which was founded in 2017 in Dorado, Puerto Rico, is presently a two-laboratory chain that provides multiple services primarily to low-income and elderly residents.
López shared that starting this new project came with various challenges. The acquisition of necessary licenses to offer the targeted services alone presents an initial potential expense of $5,000.
Moreover, opening a laboratory requires having an established team, including directors, technologists, nurses and clinical consultants.
“All my current businesses run on essential expenses only and carry no debt. That makes this next step feel very uneasy; $200,000 is a big loan,” López shared.
“Inflation has been drastic. Compared to when I first opened my laboratories, I didn’t have much experience, but now that I’m opening my third, I can tell no prices have been reduced. Everything is much more expensive, requiring a lot more effort and resources to get to your goals,” she added.
López stated that entrepreneurship is a vital step in the lives of many Puerto Rican workers and can make a difference in challenging biases in certain career paths.
“In the world of clinical laboratories, there was a stigma that only male technologists could open their own business. This caused me great concern because we nurses are just as capable of running our own laboratory,” López said.
“I can testify that any woman with children, single, divorced or under any other circumstance can move forward, meet all her goals, and successfully start a business,” she concluded.