SINT MAARTEN / Small businesses: access to financing for an additional 3 years

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Given the success of the Business Support Project and the clear need for additional assistance to local entrepreneurs, the National Recovery Project Bureau (NRPB) is extending the project until June 2028. This extension will give local businesses more time to apply for a subsidy, thereby promoting the growth and development of the sector.

Thanks to this extension, which allows micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to apply for grants and reduced-rate loans, they will also benefit from a longer repayment period, for better financial flexibility. Please note that existing beneficiaries who have already started the loan repayment process are encouraged to contact their participating financial institutions to explore potential options for an extension.

Since its launch in August 2020, the Business Support Project (ESP) of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, financed by the government of the Netherlands to the tune of $25M, has provided training to around a hundred participants and supported more than 200 local companies from various sectors in order to restore and acquire essential assets and to cover their operational expenses. Through this extension, which entered into force on September 15, 2023, the project allows for long-term sustainability of capacity building while emphasizing targeted support for new local micro and small businesses. Companies participating in certain training programs such as the ESP, the Small Business Academy hosted by Qredits and the SEDP training launched by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications of Sint Maarten are now eligible for a grant amount higher of up to 75%, unlike the 65% adopted in the first version of the project. The government of Sint Maarten thus aims to guarantee the survival and growth of MSMEs by proposing a job-creating project that improves the competitiveness and resilience of the national economy for a more equitable distribution of wealth. Silveria Jacobs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, said “micro and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, driving innovation and creating jobs in every corner of our country. I urge all aspiring entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity offered by the Business Support Project, because together we can build a stronger society and a resilient economy that benefits everyone.” _VX

Info: www.nrpbsxm.org/esp

Enterprisesupport@nrpbsxm.org

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