Businesses in the Jamaica holidays industry to receive "Five-for-Five" Loans
The Jamaica National Small Business Loans and the Tourism Enhancement Fund launched the expanded loan scheme to small and medium size businesses within the Jamaica holidays industry where they can access loans of up to $5 million.
Small and medium-size businesses who specialise in the Jamaica holidays industry will now be able to access loans of up to $5 million as the expanded loan scheme is launched by the Jamaica National Small Business Loans and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
The agreement, which was signed in 2008 by the tourism ministry and Jamaica National, is aimed at improving the capacity and products within the Jamaica holidays sector and businesses will have five years to pay the money back at an interest rate of five per cent on the reducing balance.
To date, 79 loans have been granted; with $186 million from the initial $200 million already payed out, and the additional $100 million will bring the total to $300 million over the past three years.
The first two phases were aimed at helping Jamaica hotels, attractions and transport companies and the interest rate and terms of the loan enabled companies to expand and develop in order to become part of the tourism supply chain.
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said: "We are committed to ensure that more jobs are created, and this fulfils a wider policy objective of the Government to create more and more jobs. Tourism must be a critical catalyst in the economy, enabling job creation and poverty alleviation. Five-for-five is intended to enable this. And so we are looking to broaden the base of ownership within the industry, by having people appreciate that ownership doesn't mean owning a hotel, but it means being able also to supply the needs of the visitors."
General Manager of Jamaica National Small Business Loans, Frank Whylie, said that the introduction of the loan scheme has seen tremendous growth within small businesses that specialise in providing holidays to Jamaica.
Bartlett has also recently been holding discussions with the Inter-American Development Bank regarding $10 million worth of funding which will help towards small hotels and businesses which will enhance the experience for tourists enjoying holidays in Jamaica
Bartlett said “discussions regarding this funding initiative are far advanced, and should this programme materialize, it would represent a major breakthrough for entrepreneurship, and would get more people involved in the supply side of the economic matrix in Jamaica.”
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