Farmers, manufacturers and those engaged in the tourism sector can look forward to new conditions which will make existing soft loans at the Agricultural, Industrial and Development (AID) bank even more accessible.
This, as the Government of Dominica strategizes ways to assist the private sector to recover and grow after Hurricane Maria.
At Wednesday’s Office of the Prime Minister press briefing, the Hon Prime Minister, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit revealed that after consultations with the relevant associations, Cabinet has reviewed the terms and conditions of funds totalling $35 million available at the AID bank to assist these sectors.
Part of the review includes a reduction of interest rate and an extension of the facility to include Ross University student landlords.
“Based on the proposals from the various stakeholders and on advice from the ministries of tourism, agriculture and commerce, the Cabinet took a decision yesterday to review these loans. One of the decisions we took is to review the interest rate from an all-time low of 3% to a further low of 2%,” Hon Skerrit announced.
He said the tourism facility will also be extended to property owners who house Ross Medical students to “help repair their apartments, to buy new mattresses - for those who had flooding - and appliances.”
Hon Skerrit further revealed that these and other amendments made to the facility will be available to the public as soon as next week.
He says Cabinet is expected to sign the amendments this Friday (December 8th) and the amended facility will available on December 11th.
“My public advice both to the private sector and the AID Bank is that, with respect to the private sector, ensure that you have all your documents before you submit to the bank and that the bank has to be a little bit [less] tardy with the disbursement strategy,” Hon Skerrit said as he implored the banks to be more “circumspect” and “robust” with the application process.
The nation’s leader also announced that additional funds will be made available to these facilities.
“We intend to provide additional funding to the private sector to help them rebuild their businesses and to help them to continue to provide jobs to the citizens of this country,” the Prime Minister said.