ANGUILLA--The Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Information Technology and Natural Resources has announced that the Anguilla Development Board (ADB) has launched a Bounce Back Loan Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. It is aimed at funding a lending programme for micro- and small-sized businesses in order to bridge the impacts of COVID-19.
Micro- or small-sized businesses, including sole traders, are to be eligible for secured loans and other kinds of finance of up to EC $5,000 and EC $30,000, respectively, for working capital loans. Loans issued under the fund can be used for a broad range of business purposes but cannot be used to construct or purchase residential property, buy financial products, or lend to an associated entity. At an interest rate of 4.75 per cent declining, the Bounce Back Loans will mature within a maximum of four years. The ADB may provide up to 90 per cent of financing required for new projects; and up to 100 per cent of the estimated cost of expansion projects, provided that the borrower’s contribution to the total project represents not less than 10 per cent of total project cost.
Commenting on the initiative, Minster of Economic Development Kyle Hodge shared his excitement about the opportunity, saying, “I am pleased that the government of Anguilla has had the foresight and conviction to act now. The entrepreneurs across the island are a critical component of our economy. In order to bounce back we need to create opportunities and avenues for them to grow. They need access to funding and resources, which will develop sectors which are paramount to us diversifying our economy. This is just the beginning. As I go around the manufacturing sector and speak to persons about the economy, their feedback is helping us to strategise ways to provide further equity injection into the ADB, we will ensure that the ADB remains viable and truly stands to be a building block for national development.”
In order to assist further the government is allowing manufacturers to import raw materials duty-free. Other exemptions of duty have been granted to farmers who can import equipment, including for hydroponic development, vertical farming and greenhouses. Hodge said there is a lot of interest in this and he hopes later in the year Anguilla’s farmers will be able to supply the hospitality industry and the stores with their produce.