The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) is reporting that its small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) loan scheme has been a success with strong take-up by players in the sector.
The $1-billion facility, launched last September through financing from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), enables industry stakeholders to access between $5 million and $25 million to upgrade and improve their operations, at five per cent interest for five years.
Among those eligible are operators involved in spa and wellness, gastronomy – restaurants and food-related businesses, small accommodations, shopping and galleries, attractions, knowledge networks, sports and entertainment, as well as manufacturers and suppliers.
Managing Director of the EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell, said that persons have been applying, and by next year this time, the $1 billion would have been fully disbursed.
This particular loan facility proves that there is a need for financing, that there is a need for special attention on certain sectors, and if you create the appropriate structure, we will really begin to see positive results from the companies, she added.
Mrs. Bell made the comments during the three-day United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference now underway at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James..BM