Small businesses that may experience hardships due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be supported by $20 million in short-term loan support, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday.
It’s a part of the government’s measures to offset the negative economic impact of the global pandemic, which has sent world markets into a tailspin in recent weeks.
“This allocation is to be funded in part by the utilization of an additional $10 million of the extinguished dormant accounts fund held by the Central Bank,” Turnquest said in the House of Assembly.
“Eligibility would include confirming that the business has been in existence for over one year, a commitment to retain most of the existing staff complement, and a plan to utilize the proceeds of the loan to ensure business continuity.”
Small businesses are expected to feel the brunt of the economic crisis associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
Governments around the world are implementing similar measures to keep small businesses afloat.
“Ultimately, the pace of the eventual economic recovery will largely depend on global factors, including how quickly the United States, Europe and China are able to reverse the spread of COVID-19. However, the government is confident that we have the wherewithal and access to the resources needed to get through this together,” Turnquest said.
“As the situation remains fluid, we are continuing to assess the need for further fiscal and budgetary adjustments to refocus resources on the COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. As I would have mentioned earlier, we have had several consultations with private sector stakeholders to ensure that our national response evolves in an efficient and effective manner. We will also remain committed to ensuring the Bahamian public at large is aware of our response strategy and the measures that are available to them for economic relief.”