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The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) will be launching a $100 million funding facility next month, through which new entrants in the tourism sector can access capital.
“This one is targeted to more the new businesses, the entrepreneurs with an idea…and they want to get funding to either start their business or expand their business, explained Executive Director for the (TEF), Ian Neita, as he addressed a Life After Bauxite seminar hosted by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Social Development Commission (SDC) last week at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
He explained that beneficiaries must be able to match the money borrowed through cash or some other asset. “It is a matching fund, because for every million you borrow, you must have a million dollars to match it, so it will be spread to $200 million,” he said.
The loan terms, he informed, will be similar to the existing loan facility for small properties, with a three per cent interest rate, six months moratorium on the principal, and up to five years repayment. The Jamaica National Small Business Loan Limited will administer the loan on behalf of the TEF.
“I am encouraging you to think about this one,” Mr. Neita urged. “We are now working with the intermediary to set up this one, but within the month, it will be launched,” he assured.
In the meantime, he is imploring persons to take up the current loan fund, noting that out of the $200 million that was allotted, $140 million has been disbursed to date.
“The collateral is probably just your good name…because we understand that it is not always easy to come up with an asset to pledge. So, we are making it very easy. You probably get by on your good name at three per cent up to $3 million,” he said.
Mr. Neita stated that the TEF is committed to assisting small properties and small businesses, which augment the tourism industry.
“We are pursuing this route because there is ample room in the tourist industry for small properties such as those that want to offer the bed and breakfast experience as well as small businesses, which augment the industry by providing unique goods or service, which will create value for our visitors in return for generating employment and building wealth,” he said.

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