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Small businesses to get 50% more from NIF loan programme

Published:Thursday | September 5, 2013 | 9:19 AM

The Government will be increasing by 50 per cent, the amount allocated under the National Insurance Fund's small and medium-sized enterprise loan programme as part of efforts to boost job creation.

Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier told journalists yesterday that the increase will be from one $1 billion-$1.5 billion at what he called a reasonable interest rate.

He says the expiration date of the facility will be moved from April 30, 2015 to April 30, 2018.

Kellier says the funds will be accessible through financial institutions that have worked with his ministry and the NIF.

The NIF loan programme was created in 2006 under questions that its viability could be affected.

However, yesterday, Kellier described the programme as a success with all loans being repaid with interest.

He added that beneficiaries have been able to grow their businesses while contributing to economic growth.

Since the loan programme's establishment, approximately $931 million have been disbursed, resulting in the creation or maintenance of 4,225 jobs.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica last month published data showing a decade-high unemployment rate of 16.3 percent up to April.


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