Over K20mil gone to SME loans


BANK of South Pacific (BSP) has, so far, funded 188 loans totalling more than K20 million under the Government’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) credit enhancement loan scheme, according to chief executive officer Robin Fleming.
THE National Executive Council (NEC) last year approved the release of K200 million to be used as relief support for SMEs and other small businesses in the country.
K100 million was allocated to BSP while the National Development Bank (NDB) was given K80 million to assist small businesses.
The other K20 million was parked under Commerce and Industry Department to help with administration and monitoring purposes. Fleming said the loans were spread across all sectors that the funding support was intended for.
“Since the launch of the SME credit enhancement loan scheme, BSP has funded 188 loans to a total of K20.8 million up to the end of March,” he said.
“The loans are spread across all sectors with major industries supported including retail (K6.0mil), transport (K4.9mil) and hotels and tourism (K2.1mil).”
Fleming further noted that Momase region was funded the highest in terms of loan distribution.
“From a regional perspective, Mamose has had the highest uptake with K6.7 million of loans disbursed,” he said.
“Highlands with K6.0 million, National Capital District K5.5 million, New Guinea Islands K2.1 million and Southern with K500,000.”
However, Fleming said the Covid-19 had also impacted the roll out of awareness on the programme. “Uptake in quarter 1 of 2021 has been affected by increase in Covid cases during February and March including on the joint market awareness run by the Department of Commerce and Industry, BSP and NDB,” Fleming said.
“The general feedback on the programme has been positive and in spite of macro-economic challenges, BSP is continuing to drive awareness amongst its customers to improve uptake.”