Obama commends Portuguese-run business

A construction company owned by two Portuguese sisters in the US was recently considered an example of success by President Barack Obama.

Obama launched the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to counteract the effects of the economic crisis and M. Luís Construction run by sisters Cidália and Natália Luís was one of several companies who supported by the initiative to help small and medium-sized enterprises.

Cidália and Natália Luís were present at Obama’s speech to mark the bankruptcy of global financial services firm Lehman Brothers and the start of the crisis five years ago.

“We met him at the White House moments before his speech. We did not expect it at all, we almost fell to the ground,” said Cidália.

The company, which was launched by their parents 28 years ago in Maryland, was taken over by the sisters in 2008.

In 2010, amidst the economic crisis and after the company was forced to sack over 250 workers, the sisters applied for funds from the State Small Business Credit Initiative which offered http://www..5 billion to be distributed among small and medium-sized enterprises. With the funds, the Portuguese sisters were able to purchase a cement factory and expand their business.

“It was thanks to these funds that we were able to survive,” they said.