A total of 286 micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) have availed of P22 million in loans under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program from the Small Business (SB) Corporation.
Of the 286 CARES loan beneficiaries, 71 are from Calabarzon Region, 52 from Metro Manila, 46 from Cordillera Administrative Region, 25 from Bicol Region, 22 from Central Visayas, 26 from Eastern Visayas, 18 from Mimaropa Region, 12 from Cagayan Valley Region, seven from Western Visayas, six from Ilocos Region, and one from Caraga Region.
SB Corp., the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), started releasing the CARES loan on July 3. It has to date approved 2,419 applications with an aggregate loan value amounting to PHP78.2 million.
The DTI has an initial budget of PHP1 billion to roll out the CARES program. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, however, earlier shared that the total CARES loan applications have now reached over PHP2 billion. “For extra funds needed, we will use our other P3 (Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso) portfolio fund which is about PHP3.5 billion,” he said.
SB Corp. can also tap state-owned banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to further fund the CARES program, he added. DTI launched the CARES program to help MSEs recover from losses during the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of the government’s efforts to save businesses and jobs,
The CARES program provides zero-interest loans of up to P500,000. SB Corp. meanwhile, has also partnered with the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), for the program. They recently inked a memorandum of agreement that will provide PCCI members easy access to the loan program for MSEs.
PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico said the accord is a “landmark agreement for PCCI as we assist our members in their recovery efforts. We see a bright future in our relations with SB Corp. whose primary mandate is to financially assist the very small enterprises who need the support most.”