Nearly half-billion up for SME loans

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Development Bank of Germany (KFW) have concluded a N$450 million concessional loan agreement.

15 January 2021 | Economics

It is hoped that the financial intervention will contribute to preserving continuity of SME business activities and to build a foundation for recovery. Martin Inkumbi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO): DBN

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Fast tracking the disbursing of loan payments is of critical importance to ensure that affected Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) receive funds on time to ensure efficient restructuring of business operations.

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Development Bank of Germany (KFW) have concluded a N$450 million concessional loan agreement. Concessional loans are extended on terms substantially more generous than market loans.

The DBN will on-lend the money to Namibian SME businesses that require bridging capital to carry them through the low-revenue earing period caused by the pandemic and those enterprises that wish to restructure their business operations, to best survive in the changing business environment, said Di-Anna Grobler, the spokesperson of DBN.

The relief loans will be available to both existing DBN SME borrowers and to enterprises which are not yet clients of the bank, as long as these enterprises have been in operation for at least 12 months, and meet the qualifying criteria.

Efforts to find out how the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) will fast track the loan payment process to SME businesses went unsuccessful.

Information on the qualifying criteria will be made available on Monday 18th January 2021.

The bank will provide finance equivalent to three months up to a maximum of six months working capital for enterprises affected by Covid-19. The term of the loan will be a maximum of 60 months, Gobler said.

Financial inclusion, Sectors

DBN CEO, Martin Inkumbi says it is hoped that the financial intervention will contribute to preserving continuity of SME business activities and to build a foundation for recovery. Although the bank will through its normal SME lending continue to finance SME start-ups, the priority for the Covid-19 business relief loans will be to preserve business continuity and preserve jobs, and therefore these loans are targeted at existing enterprises.

DBN forecasts that the funding will offer financial relief to around 200 SME’s. The bank will customize the loans based on individual enterprise needs. Industries such as tourism, hospitality, and transport and logistics that have experienced the largest loss of revenue due to lockdown-related effects will be prioritised, he said.

The facility may also be used for diversifying into new business areas that help strengthening resilience of existing companies for future shocks.

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