US$5 Million Loan Facility Launched


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Environment Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) Jamaica Limited, have come together to implement a US$5 million loan facility, through which entrepreneurs can access funds for industrial, manufacturing, and tourism-related projects.
The loan facility, called the Development Credit Authority (DCA), was launched today (Nov. 8) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
Under the fund, small and medium-sized hotels or manufacturing firms, will be able to access up to US$500,000 over a seven-year period for retrofitting projects including the installation of new and improved equipment for energy efficiency; water conservation schemes; business expansion and fixed asset improvement.
The DCA will be managed by RBTT, which will review applications and select financially viable projects that meet the funding criteria.
In his address at the launch, Joe De Silva of RBTT said that, “the loan facility has come at an opportune time, when there is much need for reconstruction following devastation brought by hurricane Ivan”.
The loan facility is expected to assist hurricane rehabilitation efforts as well as revitalize Jamaica’s economy.
Keynote speaker at the launch, Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson, commended the USAID, the EFJ and RBTT for collaborating to provide cheaper funds for entrepreneurs. “Indeed, we feel that this particular development is germane to the development agenda of the country at this time,” he stated.
Dr. Robertson further added that, “the Development Credit Authority will help to build the capacity of local firms and hotels thus enabling them to take full advantage of the direct and indirect benefits to be derived from foreign direct investment flows”.
The EFJ, which is a grant making foundation established in 1993 by the governments of Jamaica and the United States will contribute US$2 million to the fund, while the RBTT will contribute US$3 million.
The USAID will provide technical expertise through the Environmental Audits for Sustainable Tourism Project and the New Economy Project.

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