Enhanced Business Support Schemes
In light of the on-going challenges facing the economy, the Central Bank of Barbados has further enhanced its financial and technical support to the productive sector in Barbados. With effect from August 1, 2009, enterprises utilizing the Industrial Credit Fund Scheme, the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and/or the Export Credit Insurance & Guarantee Scheme will benefit from the following enhancements:
In addition to commercial banks, who can presently access the facility, the following institutions may now be considered as financial intermediaries for all schemes (subject to satisfactory review by our Bank Supervision Department when necessary):
* Part III Finance Companies
* Enterprise Growth Fund Limited
* Barbados Agency for Micro-Enterprise Development Ltd (Fund Access)
* Small Hotels Loan Fund
Enhanced support from the Industrial Credit Fund:
1. The annual provision of loans not exceeding $10.0 million under the ICF to certain institutions (Banks and Part III companies) for on-lending to specific sectors.
2. The annual provision of loans not exceeding $3.0 million to Enterprise Growth Fund Ltd and $1.0 million to Fund Access for on-lending to small and medium-sized businesses. Where guarantees are sought, the Central Bank of Barbados will remain in direct control of the approval process.
3. The ICF lending rate on loans from $50,000 to $250,000 will be set at 100 basis points below the ICF rate, to accommodate small businesses only but not to burden the Bank with the smallest loans.
4. The maximum maturity period for ICF loans has been increased from 20 years to 25 years.
5. Loans for refinancing are now eligible for ICF funding.
6. The ceiling on ICF loans has been increased from $5.0 million to $7.5 million.
7. The amount that approved financial intermediaries can advance without first seeking the approval of the ICF has been increased from $450,000 to $1.0 million, subject to their having met the ICF criteria.
Enhancements to the Credit Guarantee Scheme
In order to make the scheme more attractive and relevant to the needs of businesses, the following changes have been made:
1. The maximum maturity for short-term guaranteed loans has been increased from 2 to 3 years.
2. The maximum maturity for long-term guaranteed loans has been increased from 7 to 12 years.
Technical Assistance Grants
In an earlier communication we had indicated the introduction of a technical assistance programme to assist businesses in particular areas of difficulty critical to their success. The grant may cover up to 50% of the cost of business plans, financial statements, market research, or eligible advisory services up to an agreed maximum. These services must be facilitated by appropriately qualified persons in Economics, Accounting, Marketing, Management or other relevant fields in order for the grant to be applicable. Potential users are reminded of this facility.
Queries should be addressed to the Assistant Director, Foreign Exchange & Export Credits Department.