JIS News

The Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) and the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank are currently reviewing applications from persons who wish to access the Export Growth Initiative Loan made available by the Government late last year.
Each applicant can access up to US$300,000, and the loan is intended to help finance export expansion, and may be used for, but not necessarily limited to, working capital, marketing, equipment acquisition, technical assistance, human resource development, plant expansion, restructuring and replanting of fields.
Karen Norman, Business Development Manager at the JEA, informs JIS News that persons who meet the requirements should be approved for the loan in about two weeks time.
“We have had serious enquiries from interested persons who are now submitting their business plans and preparing applications. We hope that as early as maybe this week or next week, we can start processing these loans,” she said.
“However, I am unable to give you those persons who look positive until I have had more of their requirements, in terms of their business plan, the audited financial statement and so on,” she added.
The loan applications will be reviewed by the JEA and the Ex-Im Bank, with disbursement of funds being the responsibility of the bank. The loans will attract interest of up to 7 per cent.
“We will do a part of the documentation and Ex-Im will also do a part and the loan will be approved jointly,” she explained.
The loan, she pointed out, would be used specifically for export growth for those persons who already have an export business and wished to expand.
Any exporter with an established business can submit an application along with audited financial statements for the last two years, a business plan, and a guarantee from a financial institution, which will guarantee the loan, according to Miss Norman. This means that the JEA or the Ex-Im Bank will not accept any collateral to guarantee the loan. Applicants need to have this done at a financial institution, which in turn will act as the guarantor.
“The 7 per cent interest rate include the cost for the guarantee from the financial institution,” Miss Norman informed.
The tenure of the loan is four years with the first year on interest payment only.
Loans will only be provided to companies that are in good standing with the Government of Jamaica in terms of taxes. All loans will be fully secured by guarantees from commercial banks and approved financial institutions. Loans will be made to companies that are deemed capable of meeting specific agreed targets for export earnings, job creation and investment.
In order to participate in the programme, eligible borrowers must be established exporters with a proven track record, or new exporters who have developed a feasible and comprehensive programme in terms of marketing, technical assistance, plant upgrade and financing.
Consideration will be granted to persons providing an import substitution or export linkage function.

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