Equity Bank sets aside shs 200 billion to loan small businesses post COVID-19
The hardest hit Kenyans are those operating small businesses that usually profit at night, thanks to the night curfew. But then again there are those like restaurants who had to close shop after the government issued an order for restaurants to only provide take away services.
As the country continue to deal with the pandemic with the hope that the situation will normalise in a few months, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose members have been the most affected by the economic downturn held discussions with Equity Bank and arrived at an agreement that the bank will provide a shs 200 billion loan kitty the businesses can use for recovery.
“The bank committed 200 billion to support chamber finance business activities, train and build the capacity of 3 million members across the country, work county chapter leadership to enable credit facilities, appraisals, support regional businesses, promote and protect jobs and enterprises,” said Richard Ngatia, President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Businesses that will qualify for the loan are all macro, medium and small businesses (SMEs) that are already registered with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to the Press Statement, it is not clear whether those who rush to register right now following the announcement that there is a loan to be provided post COVID-19 will qualify.
Although many business men and women are encouraged by the new development, it is not clear whether they will qualify for the loans, or how much interest Equity will be charging – given that the capping of interest rate has since been repealed.
Despite that, Richard Ngatia still sees the move as good not just for the businesses that are likely to benefit from the loan, but for the economy too. “The pact will promote the national economy and transform value chains for small businesses”, he said.