Two indigenous financial institutions; the National Bank of Dominica (NBD) and the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) have entered into an agreement which will benefit the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In accordance with that agreement, the NBD has provided a three million dollars non-revolving facility to the NDFD to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) here.

The funds, which will be made available to the public at 8%, are provided in the framework of NBD’s programme for the support and development of SME’s. Interested borrowers will have to meet the NDFD’s loan requirements in order to benefit from this funding.

NBD Director, Paul Moses, who represented Chairman Anthony John, explained that the decision to enter into this agreement was as a result of NBD’s island-wide outreach to small and medium-sized business owners and budding enterprises about seven months ago.

Moses informed that the purpose of that outreach was to fill the gap in knowledge on how to make these business owners more successful and more ready to facilitate financial institutions as well as to hear what their expectations of the NBD are.

“The responses were overwhelmingly skewed toward lower rates and support services to help them start, manage and grow their businesses,” Moses said.

(L-R): Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDFD, Oliver Henderson; Executive Director of the NDFD, Cletus Joseph; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprises and Small Business Development, Esther Thomas; NBD Director, Paul Moses and NBD Managing Director, Ellingworth Edwards

(L-R): Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDFD, Oliver Henderson; Executive Director of the NDFD, Cletus Joseph; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprises and Small Business Development, Esther Thomas; NBD Director, Paul Moses and NBD Managing Director, Ellingworth Edwards

“Today we are here to announce a partnership with the NDFD as a response to the request of many persons who attended our outreach sessions,” he added.

Through this arrangement with the NDFD, Moses said the bank will provide “an affordable rate and the necessary support services which are already being provided by the NDFD to small and medium-sized businesses”.

Moses indicated that this partnership “will foster the creation and enhancement of favorable conditions for more sustainable development of small and medium-sized businesses in Dominica, the improvement of the competitiveness of small and medium-sized business in the domestic and foreign markets and the advancement of an infrastructure for Dominica’s market economy”.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the NDFD, Cletus Joseph described this partnership between the NBD and NDFD as one which highlights the significance of private sector partnerships.

“Today’s ceremony will highlight, on a broader level, the need for organizations within our country to come together and establish and identify our competitive advantages and our strengths which exists within every organization on island,” he said.

“Let us recognize that we need to put aside whatever differences we have and work towards the greater good of national development and this is what the epitome of today’s ceremony is all about and I dare say we welcome this at the NDFD and the NBD was very well pleased to welcome that as well,” Joseph stated.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDFD, Oliver Henderson and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprises and Small Business Development, Esther Thomas also endorsed this partnership as it will benefit the small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those who suffered loss as a result of Tropical Storm Erika.