Mon | Aug 2, 2021

JNSBL, EXIM Bank partner on Reset loan facility for MSMEs

Published:Friday | June 25, 2021 | 12:13 AM

JN Small Business Loans has partnered with the EXIM Bank Jamaica on an MSME loan programme, called Reset, under which $675 million is available for distribution to productive sector entrepreneurs at an interest rate of 4.75 per cent, the second-lowest in the market.

The SME Tourism loan offered by EXIM is 25 basis points cheaper at 4.5 per cent interest.

Some $200 million of the MSME loan will be disbursed to registered microenterprises by JN Small Business Loans. The remainder will be issued by EXIM Bank to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises.

Eligible SMEs from productive sector entrepreneurs involved in the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors will be able to access up to $25 million per borrower under the programme, while loans to eligible micro businesses, which typically encompasses barbers and hairdressers, will be available up to a limit of $5 million per borrower.

The maximum period for payback of the loans by MSMEs will be five years.

The Reset loan facility, which was launched on Thursday, is a product of discussions that began between the Ministry of Industry Investment & Commerce, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, JN Small Business and the EXIM Bank more than three years ago.

The roll-out of the initiative comes at a time when many entrepreneurs are still grappling with the fallout from COVID-19, and are in desperate need of funding. Many are at the brink of closing their businesses and in need of a reset.

In addition to the Reset capital, qualified borrowers will have access to capacity-building support under the JBDC Accelerator Programme.

JBDC, a state-operated business support agency, will also be responsible for the regular monitoring and evaluation of the impact on the loan facility on the recipient’s business, a review that will guide future decisions about whether to enlargen the Reset loan pool at the end of the current programme.

“We are appealing to this pioneer group that once you access the funding, you treat with it in a serious manner. The shock from the pandemic is passing, but we might be faced with other shocks from natural disaster, and so you have to ensure that money is used in a serious way,” said CEO of JBDC Valerie Viera during the launch of the Reset facility.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com