Government starts financial assistance application for MSMEs

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Local fisherfolks during the harvest season of tilapia and catfish at a fishpond in Porac, Pampanga


Good news for qualified MSMEs as the government will start to accept applications for its COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program.

Through the Small Business Corporation (SB Corporation) offices in the areas that will transition from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ), the applications started last May 18, 2020.

According to Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has announced that all provinces except National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna and Cebu City, started to shift from ECQ to GCQ last May 16, 2020.

The CARES Program is part of the administration’s economic relief program for micro and small enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the program, micro and small enterprises operating for at least a year prior to March 16, 2020 and assets not exceeding P15 million can avail of the program.

 The SB Corporation, an attached agency under the Department of Trade and Industry, said the P1 billion loan program will help cushion the economic impact brought about by the pandemic.

Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow an amount ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 while small enterprises with asset size of not more than P15 million may borrow loan amount not exceeding P500,000.

The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses. Specifically, the following purposes are qualified: 1) Updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; 2) Inventory replacement for perishable stocks damaged, and 3) Working capital replacement to restart the business

The interest rate shall be at 0.5% per month (discounted basis); and a grace period of 6 months on principal payments.

Loan applicants may visit the SB Corporation’s website for the application form and submit the accomplished form and requirements to the nearest SB Corporation office or Negosyo Center in areas under GCQ and modified GCQ.

SB Corporation will practice strict workplace safety protocols. Walk-in clients are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.