Government guaranteed loans to MSMEs affected by Hurricane Dorian
Nassau, Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, The Hon. K. Peter Turnquest announced on Thursday, October 10, 2019 that $ 10 million will be taken from the Dormant Fund to help revive the economies of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking at a press conference at the ministry to announce that the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), through the Ministry of Finance and financial partners private sector, provides government-guaranteed loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) directly affected by Hurricane Dorian.
He said: âGrand Bahama and Abaco account for around 18% of our overall gross domestic product and therefore it is in our best interests and certainly important for us to get them back to normal and running as close to normal as possible as quickly as possible. . “
The $ 10 million will facilitate grants, loan guarantees and equity for entrepreneurs residing and displaced in Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Attending the press conference were the partners involved in this initiative, including Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson; Chairman of the Board of Directors of SBDC, Geoffrey Andrews; Executive Director, SBDC, Davinia Grant; President, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Gregory Laroda; Representative of the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, Krista Albury; Chairman of the Bahamian Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson; and Chairman of the Bahamian Entrepreneurship Venture Fund Mike Cunningham.
Ms Grant explained that the aim of the SBDC is to continue serving the clients it had before the storm while creating opportunities for other existing MSMEs to bounce back even better than before.
âI must insist on this. We will continue to take care of our existing customers. What is being discussed today are additional resources that have been allocated by our government and our partner financial institutions to help the 2,525 MSMEs active in Abaco and Grand Bahama, employing around 4,000 people.
She said the government is providing $ 5 million to secure up to $ 6.7 million in loans through the Clearing Banks Association. Two million will receive equity in partnerships and 1.3 million in microcredits and grants.
Ms Grant said displaced businessmen will complete an application form. This form will be reviewed and a summary will be created by volunteer advisers. These summaries and supporting documents will then be sent to the banks concerned.
The form and the list of required documents are available at www.accessaccelerator.org under the heading Resources, in a tab called Dorian.
She noted that it is expected that the process will not take more than 10 working days and that disbursements for grants and microcredits will be processed in four to five working days.
Ms Grant said displaced businessmen who are currently in Nassau will be treated at the Edmund Moxey Center on Baillou Hill Road.
In Grand Bahama, people can first go to the BAIC building, until the one-stop shop is established at the CLICO building, for assistance.
In Abaco, the NIB / Inland Revenue building will be made available.
The SBDC Executive Director noted that for companies that have been in business for less than three years, attending a three-day seminar would be required so that they can also access these opportunities.
The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce will verify the authenticity of companies seeking access to finance to ensure transparency and accountability.
A press conference was held to announce that Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Center, through the Ministry of Finance and private financial partners, offers government guaranteed loans to micro, small and medium enterprises directly affected by the Hurricane Dorian. The Deputy Prime Minister and other stakeholders spoke at the press conference at the Ministry of Finance on October 10, 2019 (BIS Photo / Kemuel Stubbs)
Small Business Development Center Executive Director Davinia Grant explained the process for businessmen to take advantage of secured loans for businesses affected by Hurricane Dorian on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. (Photo BIS / Kemuel Stubbs)