Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced plans to advance a commitment made to deposit 30 million dollars at the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
In the 2020-2021 budget address, Skerrit told the nation that government is cognizant of the need to continue to assist these businesses in accessing the necessary financing for their development, growth and viability and pledged to the financial institution an amount of 30 million dollars over three years for on-lending of those businesses.
Speaking during the first cabinet press conference held on March 17, 2021, the Prime Minister disclosed that the three years will be reduced and the funds will be deposited in the next two months.
“I am happy to report that we will be advancing that initiative and we will provide the AID bank in May, 27 million dollars that will go towards the micro, small and medium-size businesses to on-lend to them at a highly concessionary rate,” the head of Government stated.
In last year’s budget address, the Prime Minister indicated that those funds will be lent to small business owners at 1% and managed by the institution.
According to him, “We intend to launch a major initiative to provide financing to small and medium businesses because many …keep complaining that they do not have access to financing, those who do [find it] expensive and they can’t afford it.”
The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of small businesses to the economy labelling them as “critical to the continued survival of the economy and the creation of jobs.”
He said legislation will also be included.
“That will also include the passage of legislation to create the legal framework for the operation of small businesses where concessions, fiscal incentives and recognition are concerned…” Skerit stated .