The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) says it will be disbursing $8.1 billion in loans to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) this fiscal year. That is an increase of $2.1 billion over the $6 billion in financing to the MSME sector for 2019/2020.
According to Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries Audley Shaw, the increased support is particularly within the context of the challenges being faced by MSMEs because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Shaw was speaking recently in the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
Shaw further indicated that the EXIM Bank’s programmes will seek to incorporate new and innovative approaches, including the increased use of trade credit insurance, receivables financing, digitisation and e-commerce, and trade credit guarantees.
In addition, the bank will continue to work closely with its public and private sector counterparts to support the provision of business advisory services geared at allowing MSMEs to pivot to increase exports as well as navigate through the crisis to recovery.
As the productive sector faces operational stresses caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, EXIM Bank Managing Director Lisa Bell indicated that the bank has been deluged with requests from clients whose businesses have seen a downturn in activities.