MINISTER in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West said the government guaranteed soft loans being offered through the banks will be available beginning on Monday. The government has allocated $300 million to this facility.
Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the loans would be offered through First Citizens Bank and would be interest-free, with a moratorium of two years.
He said the loans would target small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with annual gross revenues of between $1 million and $20 million, and the funds were to be used for salary payments, working capital and purchase of raw materials.
He said for SMEs with annual revenues of less than $1 million, NEDCO will be mandated to manage a grant facility with an allocation of $30 million.
West said SMEs could also access loan facilities through credit unions, where government had provided $100 million for loans to SMEs. She said business owners could get soft loans from credit unions with moratoria on repayment.
Speaking during the virtual webinar CANTO Conversations: A Ministerial Perspective During covid19, West said the government appreciated that the lockdown and impact has had a deleterious impact on SMEs in particular. She said the focus has been on reopening business so they could re-employ as many people as possible.
“We will continue to look at what kind of support is needed to go forward, because what we want is to come out of this with robust operating businesses that are engaging our population in full employment so we will provide the support that is necessary to get us there.”