Access to finance has been a perennial problem of the country’s MSMEs. Many financing programs were developed by government financing institutions to assist them in growing their businesses, ship their products, develop new products, attend trade shows, etc. The latest of these many programs is SB Corporations’ (SBCorp) COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CAREs) program to micro and small enterprises for them to recover from losses that their businesses incurred during the pandemic. All loans from the CAREs program are interest-free and payment starts after six (6) months upon release of the loan and is payable within 18 to 30 months.
Meanwhile, the medium enterprises whose businesses were also affected by the lockdown clamors to be included in the special loan facilities of government financing institutions in the country. Ms. Mila Lacson, representing and championing the cause of her sector – the Holiday Décor & Giftwares, specifically called the attention of SBCorp as their applications for financial assistance under the CAREs program were denied for the reason that their companies are medium enterprises. Hence, the sector appealed that they should also be given financial assistance by the government, citing that they are more capable to pay dues, pay higher taxes and generate more jobs than their micro and small enterprise counterpart.
The EDC Networking Committee on Financing as tasked by the Council, convened a meeting with SBCorp. to tackle and address the specific concern of the medium sized enterprise sector, The said meeting resulted to getting the support of the latter to include the medium sized companies in their loan packages.
Mr. Frank Gonzaga (SBCorp) revealed in the said meeting that the proposed funding for Medium-sized enterprises will come from their Corporate funds. Under SBCorp’s Corporate fund which they tagged as CAREs 2 program, medium-sized companies can borrow from Php500,000 to Php5 Million, with the same term or zero interest rate but with additional requirements such as BIR receipts, SSS proof of payment, financial statements and higher processing fee. He added that they have yet to release the implementing guidelines for medium enterprises. As of this writng, the implementing guideline was already issued but SBCorp is advising the public that their IT group is still preparing the dedicated landing page and module for the lending window. Stakeholders will be advised upon completion. GTM