JMA and EXIM launch $30-million loan facility

Written by: Karena Bennett, Jamaica Observer

Date: July 6, 2016

Managing director of the EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell (second left) explains the benefits of the new loan facility to small manufacturers during the launch yesterday. Looking on is chief officer of loan administration at Exim Bank, Charles Lewis (left); President of the JMA, Metry Seaga and Executive Director of the JMA, Imega Breese McNab. (Photo: JIS)

The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) in partnership with the EXIM Bank of Jamaica has launched a loan facility to the tune of $30 million aimed at improving access to finance for small manufacturers.

The initiative, which is dubbed a growth enabler for small manufacturers, allows small and medium enterprises to access a maximum loan amount of $1.5 million to fund the purchase of raw materials, equipment acquisition, purchase of spare parts and accessories and the purchase of other productive inputs required for manufacturing.

What’s more, the unsecured short to medium-term lending facility covers the funding of receivables to include accounts being traded overseas.

“Manufacturers constantly have an issue with the collection of revenues from customers; this product provides a unique opportunity. We will finance the receivables and then wait for payment, and that is critical for a small business,” managing director of the EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell stated yesterday during the launch of the facility at the EXIM Bank’s Hope Road Headquarters.

Under the terms of the agreement, small manufacturers operating in Jamaica who are registered members of the JMA can assess the maximum loan amount. Repayment spans a period of 180 days to 36 months.

“It is no secret that a large number of our small producers continue to encounter challenges accessing financing through traditional sources and why we continue to work relentlessly with our stakeholders and private sector partners in raising the bar,” Bell told the audience.

“This agreement is significant for us as it comes at a time when Government is clearly making growth and job creation major elements of its economic agenda by facilitating and encouraging greater partnerships between the private and public sectors,” she continued.

Also speaking at the function, President of the JMA, Metry Seaga, stated that access to finance at competitive rates is critical to the success of the local manufacturing sector, particularly because of the challenges prevailing in the economy.

“By mobilising finance for the productive sector and by facilitating capital inflows, our members, particularly our smaller members, now have greater access to much needed working capital requirements,” he said.