Gov’t Provides $150 Million In Capital Support For SMEs


Small, Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are set to benefit from additional capital support from the Government of Jamaica.
The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (June 29), approved a Government guarantee for a loan totalling $150 million from the Development Bank of Jamaica to the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) for on lending to the SME sector.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, informed that the loan is repayable over seven years at a fixed interest rate of seven per cent per annum, with a moratorium of 12 months on the principal payment. The interest on the principal will be paid semi-annually.
“The fund will be on lent to finance SMEs. Each project will be examined on its own merit and should prove its viability, and demonstrate the ability to service the loan without any negative impact on its operations,” Mr. Shaw informed.
He added that the loan forms part of the Government’s larger programme of providing capital for SMEs.
Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell, stated that the opposition supports “this injection of capital into the micro sector”.
“We regard the sector as critical to the growth of the economy and especially growth in jobs. It has been proven time and again that it is the micro, small and medium-sized businesses that provide these growth,” Mr. Paulwell said.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister also noted that the Government is seeking to source some $2 billion from the Petro Caribe Fund for lending to SMEs.

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