Minister of Small Business, Dwight Sutherland, will throw his support behind the establishment of a Credit Union Bank if it can offer a lower interest rate than the commercial banks, and push business on the island.
He made this clear on Wednesday, as he addressed media representatives, following talks with members of the St. George Farmers’ Market Cooperatives Society Limited, at The Glebe, St. George.
The Minister declared: “I am proud of the credit union movement in this country. I don’t think they give away the money; they still ask you to produce the necessary guarantees and assets to ensure they can recover their money.
“But what I’ve seen is that they’ve given the working class people an opportunity to access funding and I would welcome a credit union bank in this country once it makes life easy for people in this country to access financing similar to the credit union movement whereby people can start their businesses and indeed grow.”
Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that the expected Trust Loan Fund, set to offer small businesses, entrepreneurs and cooperatives $5,000, in the initial stages, should be in place by next month.
“We are very, very close to the trust loans becoming a reality,” he said, noting that at least one more Cabinet meeting should take care of it. “I am hoping that I can take the final request to our Cabinet. We do things by Cabinet and once Cabinet gives the go ahead, I reckon… we should be up and running by the latest mid-November.”
He reiterated that it was a $10 million loan fund, and each business, whether entrepreneur or small business, was eligible for a $5,000 cash injection with up to three years to repay.
“Once you have a good credit rating established, you can borrow another $5000,” he stressed.