The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is working on a $25 million credit enhancement facility that will support small and medium-sized enterprises in The Bahamas (SMEs), President of the IDB Luis Alberto Moreno said yesterday, as he announced his bank’s support for the government digital transformation program through a $30 million loan facility.
Moreno, who brought remarks at the signing ceremony for the loan, as well as a $100 million contingent loan for natural disaster emergencies at the Melia Nassau Beach resort, said the IDB intends to support SMEs through its IDB Invest and IDB Labs arms.
He said the government digital transformation project will also support entrepreneurial activity by making government procedures more efficient and reducing red tape.
“It seeks to increase the use of information and communication technologies in the public sector, and it will streamline government procedures, making them available online and reducing bureaucracy,” said Moreno.
“The end result we’re all aiming for is a more competitive Bahamas that can attract more investment and better support entrepreneurial activity.”
He added that the digitization of government procedures will increase the transparency of government spending and government’s activities.
“Today’s agreements are another part of the vision to become a more responsible country,” Moreno said.
In November the IDB announced that it would support SMEs principally through loan-based funding, but would also provide equity funding for small and medium-sized projects.
Several Bahamian companies listed on the IDB Invest site which have projects funded already include Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC), with a solar panel project expected to “reduce CO2 emissions by 24,530 tons over 25 years of operation, by displacing electricity from the grid”. CBC was given a loan of $1 million for the project.
The Arawak Port Development Company (APD) was given a loan of $3 million to install solar paneling on its roof in order to “reduce the carbon footprint of APD by decreasing the consumption of electricity from the grid, through an investment that generates zero-emission electricity”. According to the IDB Invest site, APD expects this project to improve its bottom line and market share by reducing electricity costs over the long-term.
Also listed is the Grand Bahama Utility Company, which was granted a loan of $4.5 million for smart water metering deployment.
Two other companies, Kenuth’s Electric Company Ltd. and Waterfields Company Limited, were listed, but the details of their loans were not.
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