Belize will support financial sustainability of MSMEs in the face of COVID-19 crisis

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WASHINGTON / BELIZE – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a US$15 million operation to support the sustainability of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Belize. The project will help to protect employment and promote the economic recovery of MSMEs through access to production-oriented finance.

This program is expected to benefit more than 200 businesses in the agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors which have been deeply affected due to their vulnerability to the COVID-19 crisis. The funds will help finance productive investments, including purchases of plant equipment and machinery, expansion and improvement of productive infrastructure, plant and process retrofitting to adapt to new public health requirements stemming from the pandemic, as well as the implementation of new technology, techniques, and processes.

Also, a 30 percent of total the IDB funding for this operation will finance climate change adaptation and mitigation investments to promote a more sustainable and resilient economic recovery.

The program will help the MSMEs, especially those led by women, overcome temporary liquidity problems, protect jobs while allowing business continuity and operations. This will maximize the speed of economic recovery during 2021 and 2022 through the promotion of investments in sustainable and resilient activities that could perform better in the event of new natural disasters and worsening climate impacts.

The IDB-backed project will also strengthen the capacity of the country’s Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to better serve women entrepreneurs, including the design of products and non-financial services targeting women entrepreneurs, gender awareness trainings for loan officers and other key activities.

The operation aligns with the MSMEs, climate change, and gender and diversity priorities of the IDB’s “Vision 2025,” the bank’s blueprint for recovery and inclusive, sustainable growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The US$15 million IDB loan has a repayment period of 25 years, a grace period of five and a half years and an interest-based on LIBOR.

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