New Start Up Loans & Working Capital Loans for Small Business
Written by Radio Caribbean International on March 22, 2021
Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) now have even more opportunities to access guaranteed loans including start up financing and access to working capital. These new offerings are made available through the continued partnership with Bank of Saint Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC).
The partnership was originally launched in 2020, in response to the challenges being faced by MSMEs in light of the ongoing impact of COVID19. Access to credit has for many years, been a major impediment for MSMEs, some of whom often struggle to meet the security requirements for the loan. The classic guarantee loan facility avails qualifying MSMEs who have been in operation for at least 2 years – up to 75% of the collateral required to access credit of up to EC$300,000.
In light of the changing circumstances, two new offerings were developed to ensure a broader pool of MSMEs could qualify for the guaranteed facility. The startup fund is designed for new MSMEs who have been in operation for at least three (3) months with a guaranteed percentage of 80% on loans up to EC$100,000.00. The working capital loan guarantee affords qualifying MSMEs the opportunity to benefit from support of working capital of up to EC$200,000.00 to tide them over during the uncertain period until business gets back to normal.
Bank of Saint Lucia’s Senior Manager Retail Banking, Mrs. Arleta Rate-Mitchel expressed “Bank of Saint Lucia is thrilled to be one of two banks to offer these services to our MSME’s. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about major changes for our small business and we are pleased to be here to assist them whether it be rebuilding and getting back on their feet or expanding their business operations.”
Carmen Gomez Trigg, CEO at ECPCGC shared “At the 98th Meeting of the ECCB Monetary Council, the ECPCGC Guarantee Programme was touted as part of the collective effort to help boost the MSMEs in the region and to also ease the strain on their operations. This programme was specifically designed to address the major issue of insufficient collateral faced by MSMEs. All member states, the ECPCGC, ECCB, regional banks and the World Bank are joining hands and presenting this programme for the benefit of MSMEs by injecting further funds into the market. We want to work so you can succeed.”