Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Shaw takes aim at ‘cheap money’ for agriculture

Published:Monday | June 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Industry Commerce Agriculture & Fisheries, Audley Shaw

Western Bureau:

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw says the interest rates being offered on some loans by lending entities to small businesses and new entrepreneurs are way too high and has announced a plan to target dormant accounts in banks to provide "cheap money".

"I am committed to helping to find windows and avenues where we are going to provide cheap money," explained Shaw, while delivering the keynote address at the valedictory service of the Knockalva Agricultural School in Hanover on Friday.

"Write your business plan, because I am planning that if you have a good business plan, you would not have to borrow money at 20 per cent and 30 per cent, you will be able to get money at five per cent interest rate," added Shaw.

The experienced politician, who recently moved from the finance ministry to his current post, said he was encouraged by the spirit of enterprise and initiative that is present in young people across the country, adding that there is an emerging generation of creative, young entrepreneurs.

"If you are serious about business and want to borrow some money, I begging you, do not go to a company that say, 'Come, we will lend you some money by next week,' and then they are lending you money at 30 per cent and 40 per cent interest rate," said Shaw, who noted that the request for factory space and low-cost money for investment was an ever-recurring one in his ministry.

"You cannot pay 30 per cent and 40 per cent interest rate for money and do something productive. You will never be successful paying interest rates that high," noted Shaw.

bryan.miller@gleanerjm.com