JIS News

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  • The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) approved a total of 8,844 loans valued at $3.3 billion to Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprises (MSMEs), during the first 11 months of the 2014/15 fiscal year.
  • Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, who made the announcement while opening the 2015/16 Budget Debate in the House on March 12, said this figure already exceeds the target of $3 billion set for the financial year.
  • The DBJ has also implemented a voucher programme to assist businesses to secure available technical advice and knowledge necessary to develop viable business plans and to better equip themselves to operate in the global economy.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) approved a total of 8,844 loans valued at $3.3 billion to Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprises (MSMEs), during the first 11 months of the 2014/15 fiscal year.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, who made the announcement while opening the 2015/16 Budget Debate in the House on March 12, said this figure already exceeds the target of $3 billion set for the financial year.

He informed that for the coming year, the DBJ has set a lending target to MSMEs of $4 billion.

“As a result of the amendments being made to their loan guarantee programme, known as the Credit Enhancement Facility, the Board of the DBJ has taken the decision to increase the maximum value of the guarantee from $10 million to $15 million to cover up to 50 per cent of DBJ SME loans being accessed,” he advised.

Also, in order to assist smaller enterprises, the bank has increased the percentage coverage and will now provide guarantees for up to 80 per cent on small business loans below $6.2 million for a maximum of $5 million.

The DBJ has also implemented a voucher programme to assist businesses to secure available technical advice and knowledge necessary to develop viable business plans and to better equip themselves to operate in the global economy.

The Minister said this was done out of the recognition that many small businesses, and even some medium-size enterprises, not only suffer from a lack of capital, but also from the lack of technical and management expertise to develop and put in place the appropriate business plans.

Dr. Phillips informed that the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme is also on track and there have been eight local and International Fund Managers who have responded to the call from DBJ to submit proposals in relation to venture capital funding.

“The DBJ and some investors are now doing due diligence on six of the Fund Managers and it is expected that one or two Fund Managers will be actively participating, during the next fiscal year,” he informed.

The Minister said medium and small enterprises and start-up enterprises are essential, “if we are to broaden the base of ownership in the country and, even more so, if we are to spread the benefits of enterprises to those social groups, which have been excluded from participating in the mainstream economy.”