The Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Ernest Hilaire, announced that the Ministry of Commerce hosted the inaugural MSME Loan-Grant Cheque Award to the first six recipients. This program promises to provide much-needed support to a key sector of the economy, the micro and small businesses.
Minister Ernest Hilaire said that the government would continue to support the locals through the various agencies and ministries.
The MSME Loan Grant is a EC$10 million facility aimed at providing post-COVID-19 pandemic relief to the registered MSMEs. It is a mix of 70% grant and 30% loan funding at an interest rate of only 3%, with minimum collateral requirements.
The prime minister of Saint Lucia also shared the update on his official Facebook account. While sharing a few glimpses of the ceremony, PM Philip J Pierre said, “Today, we have delivered on our promise to provide the MSMEs with the financial assistance they need to become wealth creators.”
He added that through this facility, 70% grant & 30% loan at 3% interest, entrepreneurs can make sustainable livelihoods & contribute to the development of this nation.
The Prime Minister urged the citizens to take benefit of this opportunity and contact the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) of the Ministry at 468-4218 or 468-4223 or can visit www.commerce.gov.lc.
Notably, under this program, prospective businesses could qualify for funds over $10,000, while companies in existence for less than two years can get $20,000 in funding. Also, Businesses in existence for more than two years can get up to $25,000. Priority areas include Agriculture, Manufacturing (e.g. agro-processing), Agro-tourism & Services (Beauty and Wellness, Creative Industries, ICT & Professional Services). The Ministry said that accommodation, as well as non-profit businesses are not considered under this facility.