Saint Lucia: MSME Loan- Grant Facility set to return for second call 

The application of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Loan-Grant Facility is set to begin for its second call. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Commerce.

Jonathan Allain - SBDC Acting Director. (Credits: Catherine Sealys, Facebook)
Jonathan Allain - SBDC Acting Director. (Credits: Catherine Sealys, Facebook)

Castries, Saint Lucia: The application process for the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Loan-Grant Facility is set to begin for its second call. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs. 

MSME Loan Grant is recognised as an EC $10 million facility. It is focused to provide post COVID–19 pandemic relief to the customers who have registered themselves as MSMEs. 

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It consists of 70 per cent of grant and 30 per cent of loan funding with an interest rate of only 3 per cent. MSME doesn’t include any collateral requirements. 

The citizens can get the application form online through the Ministry of Commerce’s portal on the official website of the Government of Saint Lucia. It is to be noted that they can collect the physical application forms from the office of the Ministry of Commerce.

Some of the things to be remembered while getting the application forms are as follows, 

– All application forms are supposed to be submitted to reception at the Ministry of Commerce, Fourth Floor in the Heraldine Rock Building at Castries Waterfront

– Applications will be accepted from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm from Monday to Friday

– The individuals are asked to complete the forms with their original signature, and it should be submitted with a business plan, including financial projections

– The person is allowed to get only one application on its name (An individual or entity may only benefit from the Loan-Grant Facility once)

– The applicant must be a citizen of Saint Lucia and should be between the age of 31 and 60

– Other supporting documents, such as proforma invoices and health certificates, must be attached to the application forms

Moreover, the individuals applying for the MSME loan grant are supposed to undergo a credit check, technical assistance and relevant training sessions, and they should fulfil the requirements of the programme. 

The prospective businesses may qualify for the MSME funds of up to $10,000. Existing businesses, for more than two years, can access up to $20,000 in funds. At the same time, the existing business over two years can seek a loan facility of up to $25,000.

The non-profit businesses and accommodations do not qualify for this facility. The priority areas of the MSME loan grant programme include the following, 

– Manufacturing

– Agriculture

– Agrotourism

– Beauty and wellness services

– Creative industries

– ICT

– Professional services

The acting director of the Small Business Development Centre, Jonathan Allain expressed his happiness and joy for the over-whelming response from the first call for applications. 

“We are expecting a similar influx of applicants from all over the island. We will be implementing some changes to allow for a more seamless process and will be embarking on rigorous online training sessions with the new batch of prospective applicants as well as applicants who were unsuccessful during the first call, to increase their chances of success by providing guidance on the creation of viable business plans”, added Allain.