Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from $ 3 billion in loans and grants through a partnership between the Ministry of Finance and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
As part of DBJ’s Jamaica Social and Economic Recovery and Immunization Program (SERVE), which was officially launched on Wednesday, entities will have access to funds to digitize their operations to better serve clients and recover from economic spinoffs that affected their cash flow. .
The funds will be disbursed through partner financial institutions, including financial institutions approved by the DBJ as well as entities such as credit unions and micro-credit institutions.
Three newly created products are provided to MSMEs under the program – MSME Recovery Loan Facility; Go-Digital loan facility; and a Go-Digital grant.
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, in his speech at the launch held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, explained that the $ 2 billion MSME recovery loan facility will enable entities to access up to $ 10 million at a rate of 5%.
âThis loan can be used to fill cash flow gaps and refinance existing debt that might be too expensive. [for entities] undertake at the moment, âhe noted.
In addition, the $ 1 billion Go-Digital loan facility allows MSMEs with revenues of less than $ 425 million to borrow up to $ 800,000, with a three-year repayment period at a rate of 2% per year.
Thanks to the Go-Digital grant, MSMEs with revenues of less than $ 75 million can access up to $ 300,000 to digitize their operations.
âBusinesses can use these recipes to transform their [operations] by acquiring the appropriate software that allows them to manage their customer, human resources or accounting needs and, consequently, [position] in a more resilient position to deal with this pandemic, âClarke noted.
The finance minister pointed out that COVID-19 has caused a “massive shock” to MSMEs, who, he noted, “are currently facing challenges”.
Clarke maintained that MSMEs are the ‘backbone’ of the Jamaican economy “and, therefore, we need to be concerned at this time when MSMEs are particularly affected by the impact of the COVID pandemic”.
âThe government’s policy response is to provide financial support to MSMEs in a way that enables them to withstand the pressures of the pandemic,â he stressed.
Clarke said financial support will be in place until March 31, 2022 and, in this context, urged MSME operators to take advantage of DBJ’s product offerings.
DBJ CEO Milverton Reynolds said eight institutions have already expressed interest in participating in the program.
These, he said, include commercial banks, credit unions and microfinance institutions, adding that more than $ 700 million in pledges have been received to date.
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– JIS News