The Bank of Namibia (BoN), through its Small Medium Enterprises Recovery Loan Scheme, has provided loans worth N$89,5 million to 80 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
This was announced by BoN spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka on Friday.
Zemburuka said the loans will allow SMEs to continue operating, while providing further impetus to the revival of the economy.
“The scheme was re-launched in response to the economic challenges and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is now instrumental in providing affordable financing to businesses in various sectors,” he said.
Zemburuka said by providing much-needed capital, SMEs are given a shot in the arm and the central bank has created employment opportunities for Namibians who would otherwise be jobless in the aftermath of the pandemic and geopolitical storms, which have given rise to inflationary pressures.
“Since its relaunch, the scheme has garnered a significant response, with more than 200 SMEs nationwide submitting loan applications through regional bank branches of participating commercial banks,” Zemburuka said.
The Development Bank of Namibia is the latest institution to offer the scheme for its existing clients.
The loan scheme is designed to support SMEs to promote economic recovery, and involves the allocation of N$500 million to eligible SMEs.
“According to the guidelines, SMEs can seek loans from N$50 000 to N$10 million. The loans are disbursed at a rate equivalent to the current prime lending rate, with a reduction of 50 basis points and less stringent conditions.
The loans aim to assist businesses in paying for operational expenses such as salaries, rent and lease agreements, and contracts with suppliers, Zemburuka said.
Currently, 200 SMEs have submitted applications for the loan scheme.
“Out of this number, 80 SMEs, with a total value of N$85,9 million, have been granted the loan, while the remaining 120 applications are presently undergoing review,” he said.
He said that the SMEs hail from wide-ranging sectors, including hospitality, retail, import and export, and oil and gas.
Bank governor Johannes !Gawaxab said the positive reception of the SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme is a source of encouragement.
“It underscores the pressing demand for such assistance for SMEs in Namibia. We are convinced that the provision of loans will significantly contribute to the revival of businesses.”
!Gawaxab said the bank is steadfast in its dedication to ensuring the scheme’s accessibility to eligible SMEs nationwide.
SMEs are encouraged to contact their respective commercial banks and the Development Bank of Namibia for further consultation and application procedures.