The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has approved loan applications totaling to PHP17.4 million under its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Assistance to Restart their Enterprises (CARES) 1 program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in this province.
DTI information officer Lynna Joy Cardinal said the total approved amount was for 377 MSMEs who applied for the program.
Cardinal said 249 MSMEs already received their loaned amount as of Oct. 30.
“There are 115 applicants whose loaned amounts are for release in the coming days,” she said in an interview Wednesday.
She added that MSMEs in the province applied for the CARES program as early as May 5 so they could reopen their businesses after the lockdown.
Cardinal said CARES is being implemented by the Small Business Corporation (SBC), which is the financial arm of the DTI, to assist the MSMEs acquire capitalization to restart their businesses.
“Under the CARES program, the MSMEs could borrow money ranging from PHP10,000 to PHP500,000,” she said.
Cardinal said the DTI provincial office continues to accept loan applications of MSMEs needing capital to reopen their businesses.
“The MSMEs, especially those into selling non-essential goods, were not able to open their businesses during the lockdown that they did not have income, and some of them had already used up their capital that is why they are applying for the CARES,” she added.
Cardinal said the MSMEs that are qualified to avail of the CARES program are those who had been operating for at least one year prior to March 16, 2020, which was the start of the lockdown in Antique
To assist the MSMEs, the CARES has zero interest with only 8 percent service charge.
MSMEs availing the loan are also given a grace period of six months to start paying it. (PNA)