Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Small businesses to benefit from low-cost financing

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:37 PM

Digicel Business and the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica have entered into a partnership to provide capital for new technology for small and medium-sized firms.

Up-front funding of between $2 million and $10 million will be provided at a rate of 9.5 per cent for a year to purchase PBX systems, video conferencing solutions, servers, computers and other advanced business communication tools

“Our small business customers have been telling us that they want to make the shift towards using technology in order to gain a unique advantage in their industries, but most of them do not have the up-front cash to buy the equipment,” said Brian Bennett-Easy, General Manager of Digicel Business.

“This arrangement will work to their benefit, as it will help them to spread technology costs over a longer period of time, thereby freeing up valuable working capital,” he added.

The facility is open to businesses that have been in operation for more than one year. Applicants must fall within one of the following categories: tourism, manufacturing, general services and technology; must not be purely a distribution or retail company; involved in value-added business activity.

Working with Digicel Business’ team of account managers to come up with the best technology solution, a business owner will then begin the loan pre-qualification process before approaching the EX-IM Bank to arrange financing.

The process can take up to two weeks, depending on how quickly the applicant submits all the required documentation, Digicel said in a release.

“We know that today the use of technology in business is a competitive tool, levelling the playing field for small business. This public/private partnership between EX-IM Bank and Digicel Business augurs well for Jamaican SMEs who need that financial support to ready their business for today's competitive environment," said Lisa Bell, Managing Director, EX-IM Bank.