The Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has approved a total of 21,695 loan applications to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) as of February 9, 2021.
The loan applications were made under the Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program to provide MSMEs with urgent relief needed to restart their businesses amid the pandemic.
Loans from the Bayanihan CARES Program are interest-free, collateral-free, and are available to MSMEs, cooperatives, hospitals, and tourism businesses that have been in operation for at least one year. Repatriated or returning OFWs who wish to engage in start-up business may also apply for a loan under the program after some trainings.
DIT’s efforts to provide relief and assistance to MSMEs through the CARES program are further strengthened, especially as it works towards the sustainable and inclusive recovery of the nation, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“Over 20,000 MSMEs have already benefitted from this loan portfolio, which has helped businesses survive from permanent closure, recover from the effects of the pandemic, save or even create more jobs, and provide income to millions of Filipinos and their families,” Lopez added.
The trade chief emphasized that MSMEs are a key pillar of the country’s economy, which contribute 35.7 per cent to GDP, employ 62.5 per cent of the labor force, and constitute 99.5 percent of all business establishments in the country.
Based on the nationwide survey of over 3,000 MSMEs conducted by DTI, around 38 per cent were forced to close down during the height of lockdown in April to June last year, and this number went down to 5 per cent towards yearend 2020, as more sectors were gradually reopening.
“We encourage all MSMEs across the country in all regions to consider taking the step in reopening or reconfiguring your respective businesses,” Lopez said.
DTI, its provincial offices, and Negosyo Centers spread out across the country are also available to support small entrepreneurs in the regions. Business owners may head to any of the offices or may opt to send their concerns through the available online portals. – BusinessNews.ph