Commerce Minister And Team Visit Small Businesses – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Minister for Commerce, Hon. Emma Hippolyte, and a technical team that included Deputy Permanent Secretary, Charmaine Louis-Justin; acting Director of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), Jonathan Allain; and Business Development Officer, Alvinaus Simon continued a series of site visits to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the north of the island that were beneficiaries of the MSME Loan Grant Facility.

The businesses visited include M&M Fish, Rego’s Natural Teas and Spices, KJM Gifts, Indian’s Auto Repair and Krafty Kat.

The primary purpose of the visits was to provide proof of concept—determining through monitoring, tangible improvements made to business operations as a result of the injection of funds.

The MSME Loan-Grant is an EC$10 million-dollar facility aimed at providing post COVID-19 pandemic relief to registered MSMEs.

It is a combination of 70 percent grant and 30 percent loan funding at an attractive interest rate of 3 percent with minimum collateral requirements.

Businesses can use funds toward equipment upgrade and modernisation; food safety standards and certifications; the purchase of raw materials; direct supplies and promotional material; obtaining technical assistance; facilitating product and service development; retrofitting premises for standardization; accessing training programs that benefit the business; and packaging and design.

SOURCE: Ministry of Commerce