DBJ revs up COVID recovery loans for transport, entertainment sectors
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is making loans available to micro, small, and medium enterprises in the transport and entertainment sectors as they seek to rebound from the COVID-19 hit.
The DBJ will make $500 million available for those in the entertainment sector through a network of financial and microfinance institutions. The businesses will be able to access up to $10 million with up to five years to repay.
Some $200 million in loans will be available to the transport sector, with borrowers able to get a maximum of $750,000 with up to one year to repay.
“The purpose of it is to ensure that persons have the oxygen that’s required for business. Financing is the oxygen of business; it fuels business,” Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke told The Gleaner at the launch of the programme on Thursday.
“For the transportation sector, they are available to taxi operators, bus operators, tour operators, and transport operators in the tourism industry, among others,” DBJ Managing Director Anthony Shaw explained.
“In the entertainment sector, loans will be available to micro entrepreneurs such as the food vendor, party promoter, clothes vendor, fish fry promoter, round robin events, bar owners, vendors who ply their wares at entertainment events, and other micro entrepreneurs,” Shaw further disclosed.
He added that party promoters, clothing stores, restaurants, wholesales, printing companies, caterers, lighting companies, decor companies, and transport companies will also be able to access the loans.
Evan Mullings, general manager of the Jamaica Music Society, believes the programme will bring much-needed relief to the entertainment sector, and he is hoping that industry players will make use of the facility.
Clarke noted that this programme complemented the grants that the Government has made available to the transport sector through a partnership with LASCO Financial Services.
“We’ve had 3,600 taxi operators who have qualified so far, and payment of those at a rate of $25,000 per grant has been forwarded to LASCO Financial under the contractual terms between the Ministry of Finance and LASCO Financial. And those will be viable for payment this week,” the finance minister said.
Clarke added that the policy was updated from previously, requiring that participants have a licence printed by April 30, extending the date to August 30. All public passenger vehicle operators, contract carriage operators, and hackney carriage operators are eligible for the grant.