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Bahamas guaranteeing loans to MSMEs affected by Hurricane Dorian

Published:Friday | October 11, 2019 | 1:01 PM
Finance Minister K. Peter Turnquest (center) addressing a news conference - Contributed photo

NASSAU, Bahamas, CMC – The Bahamas government Friday said it would be guaranteeing loans to micro, small and medium sized (MSME) enterprises affected by Hurricane Dorian that slammed into the country last month, killing at least 60 people and causing millions of dollars in damage.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest, told a news conference that the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), through the Ministry and private financial partners, is offering government guaranteed loans.

 “Both Grand Bahama and Abaco represent some 18 per cent of our overall Gross Domestic Product and so it is in our interest and certainly significant for us to get them back and up and operating to as near normal as quickly as possible,” he told reporters.

SBDC executive director Davinia Grant explained that it is the goal of the centre to continue serving those clients it had before the storm while creating opportunities for other existing MSMEs to bounce back even better than before.

“I need to emphasise this, we will continue to take care of our existing clients.  What is being discussed today is additional resources that have been allocated by our government and our partnering financial institutions to help the 2,525 active MSMEs across Abaco and Grand Bahama, employing approximately 4,000 people.”

She said the government is providing US$5 million to guarantee up to US$6.7 million dollars in loans through the Clearing Banks Association and that two million dollars will be given equity in partnerships and US$1.3 million in microloans and grants.

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