The Small Business Corporation’s (SBCorp) CAREs (COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises) Program is part of the government’s economic relief program for micro and small enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Luna Cacanando, SB Corp President and Chief Executive Officer informed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has allocated P1.5 Billion loan program to help cushion the economic impact to businesses brought about by the pandemic. This was proclaimed during a zoom meeting last 28 May 2020, organized by the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) to help the agency in the dissemination of information for the said program.
Under this loan program, existing micro and small enterprises (MSEs) can tap the assistance to restart their businesses after they have been affected by the lockdown measures undertaken by the government to contain the spread of the Corona virus.
Micro enterprises with asset size not exceeding PHP3 million can borrow between Php10,000 up to Php200,000. Small enterprises with assets not exceeding PHP15 million can borrow up to Php500,000. Moreover, the loan is interest free or zero-interest for 30 months but SBCorp. will charge 6% as service fee. In addition, SBCorp. will also give six-month grace period to micro and small businesses hence, loan payment commences on the 7th month. However, if by then business is yet to recover, the exporters request for possibly longer grace period of at least 12 months before it start their loan payment.
In order to help facilitate the roll out of the CAREs loan program, SBCorp partnered with PHILEXPORT and allocated P300 Million as loan fund relief for the latter’s members. The two are set to sign the Memorandum of Understanding for the partnership and guidelines in the coming days.
Under this partnership, PHILEXPORT is to endorse the list of member/exporters qualified to apply for a loan and SBCorp is only to collect 6% deducted upon the loan release. The 6% consists of a 5% service fee for processing the loan and the 1% to be given back as admin fee to the chapter or association that facilitated the approved loan application.
Finally, it was also informed that Congress is set to finish the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) bill where a Php100Billion was allocated to also provide zero-interest. –GTM