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Trust Fund raising loan ceiling to $10,000

Article taken from Nation News – February 28, 2023

BARBADIANS HOPEFUL of starting a new small business now have access to a start-up loan of $10 000 from the Barbados Trust Fund Limited.

The increased amount (from $5 000) is Trust Fund Limited’s way of helping possible clients deal with the rising cost of living.

Speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, the fund’s general manager, Gerald Amos, also revealed they are now partnering with credit unions to facilitate loans for possible entrepreneurs for up to $200 000.

Amos was speaking as the 2023 Estimates looked at the work of the Ministry of Business Development. Minister of State in that ministry, Sandra Husbands said that because of the everyday challenges inflation had brought, the ministry would be engaging in various “hand-holding” projects to aid development.

“In order to scale up, we are moving to offer that $10 000 loan that we were hesitant to offer in the last couple [of] years. We recognise that people need more money because prices have risen significantly. We have also partnered with the credit unions so that if people want more than $10 000 they are willing to give loans of $200 000 to our clients. We had one client who we moved over to the credit union, and we have a few more in the pipeline.”

The general manager admitted coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic had been a tough time for business.

“There has been a challenge over the last couple [of] years. The challenges are real. As prices started to rise, the money being borrowed is insufficient at this time, and people are complaining about the fact that raw materials are not only more expensive, but at times, inaccessible,” he told the House in response to a question posed by MP Marsha Caddle.

“Over the last year, we’ve tried to address some of the issues and put things in place to help buffer the problems they have been experiencing,” Amos said.

He added that the Trust Fund had also introduced a project to help the manufacturing sector and a distributor from the United Kingdom would also be invited to Barbados so local exporters could indicate what they had to offer that market.

“We also looked at forming clusters, where they could come together and purchase things which would drive down their prices.

“We’ve also been working with Export Barbados for them to bring in some things at a reduced cost to help our manufacturers, and to find a cheaper source for bottles in Barbados. The prices of bottles are expected to go up again,” he said. (BA)


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