The Government of Dominica, on Thursday, signed a $5 million loan agreement with the AID Bank to assist small businesses that have been impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who was addressing the signing ceremony, said citizens should take advantage of the facilities.
“I want to say to our citizens that it is important that we take advantage of these facilities,” he said. “One percent interest on any loan amount is a significant consideration.”
Skerrit pointed out that the generous terms must also be considered in terms of the repayment, schedule and the grace period,
“I am happy to note that the AID Bank will seek to efficiently respond to the applicants because, for many of these applicants, time is certainly of the essence and seeing that our country is gradually reopening it is important for them to reposition themselves so that their business activities can resume and resume in a very positive manner,” the Prime Minister stated.
He said bus drivers can also access the loans which can be used for a wide range of business activities.
“It could help cover your recurrent cost, your overheads or to buy equipment or machinery for your small business,” he explained. “We have tried to tailor this loan facility to respond to the specific challenges which businesses are encountering.”
The prime minister went on to say that in normal circumstances, one will not get a small business loan to pay salaries or to cover recurrent expenditure.
Skerrit again made mention of the $15.7 million which will be provided to the Dominica Social Security (DSS) to provide income support to those whose income has been affected during this pandemic.
“I can also say to the citizens you are also able to apply now as we speak for the income support at the Dominica Social Security…,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated. “We will be providing the DSS with some 15.7 million-dollars to provide income support to those whose income would have been affected as a result of Covid-19.”
He encouraged small businesses to apply for these loans.
“No matter how small the amount may be in people’s eyes or our own view, whether it is $1.00 or $5.00, it will make a difference in our lives,” the prime minister said.