Government signs $5 million loan agreement with AID Bank to assist small businesses

PM Skerrit speaking at the loan signing ceremony with AID Bank on May 21, 2020. The image was taken from the Facebook page of the Office of The Prime Minister

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.

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18 Comments

  1. Watch Dog
    May 25, 2020

    Scam scam scam. Safe yourself the trouble! Soc Sec does not have the forms to apply and the quick fix at aid bank might as well take 9 months. Unless you are on the list already…

  2. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    May 24, 2020

    Who is going to watch the money to make sure that it does not grow legs and walk off into someones personal overseas bank account?

  3. Ibo France
    May 23, 2020

    Again! To plunge the country deeper into indebtedness is a national scandal. Where are the multiple billions of dollars made from the sale of the people assets (passports). Dominicans are so passive about this. The fourth estate (media) in Dominica does no investigative journalism. The local ‘journalists’ are just petrified stenographers. Dominica can now accurately be described as a nation of sheep. Everyone sits back and allow this nakedly corrupt apex dunce to run rough shod over the entire population. Then, they blame one man, Mr. Linton of failing to win elections. It will take sustained political activism from all fair minded, right thinking citizens and residents to rid the country of this wet blanket that occupies the helm of government. The country can’t breathe and soar again with lies and bald promises.

    • Viewsexpressed
      May 25, 2020

      Inbo France, your comments is credible be and welcomed. It’s time we get rid of failed Incompetent Skerrit and his failed questionneefable incompetent Labour government.
      We need to know of our money years gone by.
      We need to be alert, caution and be prepared to get this inmature childish Skerrit out of our government now 😠.
      Skerrit, please go: Your words: ” Go to Hell, Go to Hell, it’s our Damn business to have an account of our States financial resources. We pay our tax and after 20 years we don’t trust you and your failed incompetent Questionable, corrupted Labour government. Go to Hell – in rs our damn business. Go away. Labour Party Government under Skerrit has failed we the people of Dominica.
      Skerrit, go away, get lost and take your corrupted Labour party government with you.
      Goodbye, adious, hasta la vista. Get the hell out of our government and our Dominica.
      We need to take back our government.
      Skerrit, get Lost. Go, leave us alone, we’ll recover without you…

  4. Gary
    May 23, 2020

    Your understanding of something is not what it is. Do you know what a Government budget is, if you did, you would not be making such a silly comment. The Government budget is a FORECAST(an estimation or prediction in advance) by The Government of its expenditures and revenues for a specific calendar period, It’s not like the Government has X amount monies and they are detailing how they are going to spend it. Here we have a Pandemic which upsets the Governments budget, prediction or forecast as it resort to their expenditures and revenues How do you expect the Government to do the things they promised or said they were going to do. The Government now has to swift it’s focus and resources to combat this Pandemic. It is one thing to criticize the Government or express an opinion but you should do so in a responsible manner not ignoring facts.

    • derp
      May 25, 2020

      True, but it doesn’t take millions of dollars to pass the law to decriminalize it and legalize it…. Furthermore a study was done which shows that certain strains of cannabis are able to help prevent and treat COVID-19
      https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0315/v1

  5. CHILDISH
    May 22, 2020

    Why this loan package is not to be trusted??. After Erika the residents of colihaut and coulisbistrie were promised relocation and housing. After Maria promises of assistance to farmers from an 18 M World Bank grant was mere made; guess what? some non farmers got away with 3, and 10 ten thousands dollars! Small business owners were required to have their businesses registered, forms filled and business plans submitted to qualify for grant money, only to be told that the monies were diverted to East Coast road development. Fast track to Covid 19- small businesses are again being asked to apply for low interest loans, not knowing the full conditions. Added to that displaced employees are also being asked to check with the Dominica Social Security for assistance since 9 millions has been allocated by the government for that purpose. But isn’t that the same Gov’t that a month ago rejected DSS money for the same purpose? Really! is the government playing games with its people?

  6. Ibo France
    May 22, 2020

    Mr. Skerrit, where are the billions of dollars raked in to the government coffers through the CBI program? This is the perfect time to put this money to good use. The CBI monies should have been quite adequate to take care of all the country’s financial needs at this moment in time. Meanwhile, the country’s indebtedness is ballooning out of control. Generations yet unborn will be saddled with this humongous national debt that you have created. Bad fiscal policies,,corruption and dubious leadership have the country in financial ruins.

  7. Shaka zulu
    May 22, 2020

    This is why aid bank is failing. The terms of loans decided by a finance minister who have his minions in there working on his behalf, while he himself have no financial common sense. When process get snagged bank can take fall and PM claim ignorance. How many times we have seen the use of aid bank to play politics with money. The government has been competing with aid bank in private sector venture development and student loans which had been the banks biggest revenue generator for years. It is either the money is distributed by bank on bank terms or by government department on government terms. Aid bank has salaries to pay along with operation cost and its customers interest to grow. How do you expect a bank to be profitable when gov set up loan at its desired rate irrespective of bank financial state. Its best everyone take that loan put on a fix deposit at another bank and make some money. This sounds like a publicity stunt to pretend moneys are given only to be redirected.

  8. Tsk tsk
    May 22, 2020

    Wow, taking such a loan to assist persons is ok but it begs the question where is the money which was supposedly set aside for the international airport? Who is gonna repay the loan when the island is already suffering? Dominicans need an innovative, proactive PM who finds means and ways to encourage people to work for themselves and make the necessary resources available for them. Creating Jobs for those who are not fortunate enough to be their own boss. All these handouts serves no purpose in the long run.

  9. Batibou River
    May 22, 2020

    Oh shut up Skerrit. You are doing this and you are doing that but nothing really amounts to anything!! The naked truth is, hadn’t you skimmed the state coffers year in year out, skimmed and squandered the CBI revenue and spend the rest on your favourite hoteliers and sinfully expensive election campaigns, you would be able to help the citizens with some meaningful help now, like people get in other countries. But other countries watch their leaders much closer and don’t believe when they tell them that hell is white and beautiful!!!

  10. Alibaba & the forty thieves
    May 22, 2020

    But Dennis Charles is NOT Prime minister, is not the finance minister and is NOT the minister responsible for small business, yet she is on record saying the manager (Aid Bank), has assured me that once documents are in place a cheque will be issued within 48 hours. Ms. Dennis Charles you are the minister for tourism so focus on your ministry please because you seem to be just a pretty looking rotten teeth!
    Boy I just cannot trust Alibaba and his forty thieves in anything they say.

    • 72nations72elements
      May 26, 2020

      Not to mention you have the Minister of Health speaking on National Security matters.

  11. My little take
    May 22, 2020

    Here is my little take on the situation: Knowing Skerrit and his corrupt way of doing things, I feel that so -called loan is for a chosen few laborites as a way of legally paying them for their role of helping him steal the last election. They know exactly who they have already registered in the name of small business and they know everyone else will be denied. How could you invite bus drivers to come for a loan when you know fool well that over 85% of bus drivers don’t own a bus? So if you are a bus driver or bus owner but you did not vote labor, know you are not registered, not qualified and will be denied

    • 72nations72elements
      May 26, 2020

      Not only that, bus drivers were never requested to stop operations. in addition, there were allowed to significantly raise their fares. Ensuring they they remained viable. now a 1% loan.

  12. derp
    May 22, 2020

    the loans are welcome to help those in need, but what about alternative forms of stimulating the economy, I’m thinking of what you all promised in your last budget address and also manifesto in regards to the cannabis market, I guess not you guys rather let people beg you rather than help themselves….

    • Gary
      May 23, 2020

      The above message was for @ derp regarding the the comment made.

    • King K
      May 23, 2020

      that was just to secure themselves because both parties were preaching the same thing and look now as you rightfully put it they’d rather let the people beg…

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