Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) clients whose loans are in arrears due to decreased sales, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been thrown a lifeline.
General Manager Gerry Amos, other BTFL officials and resource persons, introduced some of its clients on Thursday evening to the RE RE – Restructuring and Rescheduling of Your Loans Programme.
At a networking session held at the New Testament Church of God’s M.E.R.C Complex on Fairchild Street, Mr. Amos explained that clients unable to pay their loans during the national pause would benefit from a longer repayment period and a lower monthly payment.
The General Manager said in his opening remarks to attendees that the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Trust Fund had worked assiduously to come up with a plan to assist their clients.
“We expect that this would be an ease on that client not having to bother about the arrears that had accrued, not having to bother about the interest that accrued and now they have a smaller repayment,” he stated.
He continued: “Our Minister (Kerrie Symmonds) said we had to come up with a programme, so my management team and I came up with the RE RE programme to help our clients. This is an opportunity for you to get yourself back on track, service the loan while keeping in mind that when you re-pay the loan, you allow someone else to borrow from the Trust Loan.”
Earlier in the week, Mr. Amos had shared that the entrepreneurs also benefitted from a two-day training session on Debt Management and Budgeting to help them become prudent money managers, especially during a pandemic.
The General Manager mentioned other initiatives by the Trust Fund to assist the entrepreneurs. “We decided that the two-day training was not enough and we decided that we should go a step further and bring the clients together in a networking session today [Thursday] to bring some clusters out of the groups. So, we are strategically training the persons in clusters that we believe can cluster together. Today is manufacturing and agriculture because we see natural synergies between these two clusters,” Mr. Amos said.
He continued: “Coming out of all of this, we have an ACE (Advanced Client Enhancement Programme). We are going to train our clients with cluster professionals throughout the island to build their capacity up to a level where we can showcase these products in stores and supermarkets to give these clients exposure.”
BTFL’s General Manager expressed the hope that there would be continued good relations with its clients so that it could provide training and other assistance.