$2.8 Billion to Assist Small and Medium Sized Enterprises


Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced that during this financial year, $2.8 billion from the National Insurance Fund (NIF) Credit Facility would be available to selected financial institutions to on-lend loans to small and medium sized businesses.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was making her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (May 1), pointed out that this sum represented a 27 per cent increase over the $2.2 billion, which was disbursed during the last fiscal year.
She further noted that $960 million of the $1 billion allocated from the NIF last fiscal year, has been made available to small and medium sized agricultural and manufacturing businesses, adding that this initiative would contribute to rural development, reduce the rural-urban drift, expand entrepreneurship all across the island, and boost employment for the most vulnerable groups and impact positively on the job market.
“It does not matter whether they are poor, rich, middle class or working class. To level the playing field I will not stop using the people’s money to help the small and micro business people to pull themselves up by their own skills, talents and effort,” she stressed.
The revolving credit facility, which was introduced by Mrs. Simpson Miller in her Budget presentation in May of last year, is being financed through the National Insurance Fund (NIF). The loans will be provided through an existing network of public and private sector financial institutions, referred to as Participating Financial Intermediaries (PFI).
The credit facility is targeted at small and medium enterprises, which are involved in value-added activities. A micro enterprise must have up to four employees; small businesses up to 10 employees; and medium sized enterprises, up to 50 employees.

JIS Social