Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit considers this week a rewarding week as the government continued to create avenues for people to build better lives and lift themselves out of dependence. In his latest episode of Annou Plae on Sunday, March 13, 2022, PM Skerrit shared an update on the latest government development and outlined the progressive policies implemented for the people.
While expressing his pleasure on the development project, PM Skerrit noted,” As prime minister and minister of finance, it has brought me great joy and satisfaction to launch two facilities at the AID bank, which will create significant economic opportunity for Dominicans of all walks of life in every part of the island”.
PM Skerrit outlined policies for the business and mentioned that the two policies are designed to boost business activity and provide beneficiaries with the means to improve their personal circumstances and contribute to national development.
The following are the measures are what is known for and how the government have excelled that is in the case of vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica, who are the most in need of assistance to move to self-sufficiency and success, the prime minister stated:
- The 27 million dollars small and medium enterprises loan facility is offered to entrepreneurs wishing to expand and strengthen their business, especially in light of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their finances.
Stressing upon the benefits of the scheme, the prime minister of Dominica affirmed that the project would empower entrepreneurs of the country to carve a niche in the marketplace and build financial wealth and a more secure future for their families.
- Further, it is the Kalinago Development fund, which was developed to give the indigenous people a better shot at success.
It provides access to financing at very concessionary terms to fund development projects in several areas, including residential and commercial development, cultural development, enterprise development, crop production and processing, underscored prime minister.
He applauded his government remarked that the Launch of this facility speaks to the dedication of this government to the well-being and security of the Kalinago people, and noting, “Once again I wish to assure the Kalinago people and indeed all Dominicans of our absolute commitment to the creation of opportunity and that of your families”.
Further, Prime Minister Skerrit also informed about the procedure and the requirement to access the funds by inviting the General Manager of Aid Bank, Marie Therese Johnson, who have provided some details about the two loan facilities, including MSMEs and Kalinago at the AID bank.
MSMEs Loan Facility
While highlighting the MSMEs loan facility, Johnson stated that MSMEs, as the name suggests, it’s catered to a business involved in commercial activity with an annual turnover of less than two million sixteen thousand one hundred and fifty dollars business must be ready for social security and the inland revenue division.
- Persons must be citizens of Dominica, and they are required to show proof of their citizenship, or they must be permanent residents operating in the country for over ten years, underscored, general manager of AID bank.
- She further highlighted the documentation which is required for access to the loan facility and stated that it would depend on the nature of the business and the purpose of the funding.
- Johnson explained the procedure with an example and desired that there is a farmer who is requesting finds for crop cultivation, so there would need a recommendation from the agricultural extension officer, no need of customer documentation, which means id proof, proof of address, that includes the utility bill or a letter from the village council or from landlord to reside.
- It further requires invoices for the items that are being purchased; financial information to include credit reports, bank statements, and secured payments need to be established, she added.
- While answering the question of the type of security needed in the facility, she exclaimed that security would also be based on the amount for the MSMEs facility. The amounts are between eight thousand, one hundred es dollars to six hundred and seventy-five thousand EC dollars.
- So if we have someone applying between eight dollars and fifteen thousand dollars, a secured payment arrangement only will be required, and a secured payment will be a standing order over an existing account salary deduction or an assignment of money owed. If you are looking at larger loan sizes, between 250,000 to 675,000, more tangible security would be required.
- The minimum of eight thousand one hundred that is under the MSMEs line and maximum 675 thousand, and that’s easy dollars; consideration may be given to more significant amounts on a case-by-case basis are the appropriate amount.
- People could apply for funds under the facility more than once; however, it would be preferred if the facilities were allowed to run for at least six months so that they can monitor the facility before.
- Small businesses could register with two entities and then apply for funding as this is actually a requirement of the facility, that the persons need to register with the Dominican social security and the inland revenue now.
- Based on the social security act, self-employed persons must apply for registration with registration as insured persons, so they must ordinarily reside in Dominica, they must be between the ages of 16 and the retirement age and be engaged in employment in Dominica.
- To register, a self-employed person needs to have the original copy of their birth certificate; a married person has to present the married certificate and evidence of income being earned from that business.
- With respect to inland revenue, before businesses commence operation and to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the inland revenue must be contacted on what information is required.
- The first obligation is to register the business by completing a registration form.
- On the terms for lending the loan facility, the interest rate is very attractive at the repayment term will be 120 months or ten years and that is exclusive of a six-month grace period and the grace period will be on interest and principles so for six months, the client pays nothing.
Kalinago Development Fund
Johnson further explained the terms of the requirement for the Kalinago Development Funds and stated that it is to assist the Kalinagos and by calling and the government has set aside an amount of eight hundred and sixty thousand dollars specifically targeted to the Kalinago territory.
- The interest will be two per cent ion a reducing balance and for ten years a maximum of up to ten years or 120 months and a grace period of six months on interest and principle as well.
- To qualify for the KDF, the applicant must be of Kalinago ancestry, and the project and whatever the infrastructure is being developed must be geographically located in the Kalinago.
- The owners of the business must be citizens of the commonwealth.
- The facility is distinct from anything that people will find in a commercial or commercial banking space or at a credit union, and first of all, the terms are excellent as people have two per cent compared to as much as 15 which they’re ould attract at the commercial banks or all the credit union.
- They are very flexible security options, there’s absolutely no tangible security required, so they have to present the secured payment arrangement.
- There is also a grace period of six months.
- So, basically, if someone applies for 15,000 under a term of 10 years, they will be paying just 130 dollars and two cents so that.
- The KDF loan facility required the normal KYC documentation like an id or proof of address, a bank statement, a letter from the Kalinago village council verifying Kalinago ancestry.
PM Skerrit further asked, “Now, the bank has developed a structure to administer and disperse the funds both to small businesses and to the Kalinago people, it’s be activated and can interested persons begin to submit the applications of this coming week”.
Johson further replied:
- So, the application process can begin on Monday, the eight banks have been involved in the disbursement of COVID-19 lines, and that has really allowed us to streamline the process.
- People could call 25594100, and may more, and there will be emails so that people could email them for these two lines in particular-loansaidbank.com.