Corporation continues to help MSMEs restart via online loan
DTI-ROG-Small Business Corporation
July 16, 2021
MAKATI – Small
businesses looking to restart their operations during the pandemic
may still apply for interest-free, collateral-free government loans
by creating an account at www.BayanihanCARES.ph.
With just a few keystrokes
and mouse clicks, small business owners can type in their pertinent
details and upload scanned identity and business documents on the
website, which is maintained by the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp),
an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
SBCorp is the program
implementer of the Bayanihan CARES (COVID-19 Assistance to Restart
Enterprises), which makes P8.08 billion available for micro, small,
and medium enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, hospitals, tourism
businesses, and repatriated or displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the program,
qualified loan applicants can apply for loans ranging from P10.0
thousand up to P5.0 million, depending on their pre-pandemic sales
and business assets figures, if applicable.
These loans are payable up
to a maximum of four (4) years, inclusive of a maximum grace period
of 12 months for Non-Tourism MSMEs, or a maximum grace period of 24
months for Tourism MSMEs accredited by the Department of Tourism
(DOT) or registered as Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBEs).
Successful loan applicants will only need to pay a one-time service
fee, set at a maximum of eight (8) percent for a four-year loan
term. Lower service fees apply to shorter loan terms.
SBCorp also enhanced its
requirements to enable more MSMEs to benefit from the highly
concessional loan terms under the program. For instance, MSMEs that
have been operational for at least one (1) year as of their date of
application may now qualify for the loan. SBCorp’s previous
requirement was for MSMEs to be operational for at least one (1)
year before 16 March 2020 when the community quarantine was imposed
in the country. This is in recognition of the fact while most MSMEs
chose to adapt to the new operating environment, some have chosen to
pivot to or establish entirely new businesses.
The Bayanihan CARES
Program also has a special window for tourism and travel-related
industries (CARES for TRAVEL) with a fund allocation of P4.0
billion, and a start-up loan program for repatriated or displaced
OFWs who want to start their own businesses (CARES for HEROES).
To date, SBCorp has
approved 31,700 MSME loan applications. These correspond to a total
loan amount of P4.84 billion.
It is important to
emphasize that SBCorp is focused solely on helping make funds
available for small business owners, according to its President and
Chief Executive Officer Ma. Luna E. Cacanando. And during the
pandemic, that focus didn't change, Cacanando said.
"SBCorp operates on the
principle that we should not duplicate what the mainstream players
in MSME finance are already doing," she said. "We do not compete
with what is already working in the market. What we need to do is
fill in the gaps for small businesses that banks and lending
companies do not yet find attractive to finance relative to their
profit objectives and cost management thresholds. We develop and
operate our financing programs for MSMEs along these lines."
And just like every other
organization, SBCorp has been disrupted by the pandemic.
But instead of being
paralyzed by the lockdown, it was able to slowly transform itself,
Between March and May last
year, the organization "went through a deep rethinking on how to
safely provide quick financing response to affected small businesses
which we knew will increase in great numbers as the pandemic crisis
is prolonged," Cacanando said.
She added: "We had to
strategize how to design, develop and fund the IT application
systems and IT connectivity that we needed to put in place. The
challenge was heightened by the need to limit most of our meetings
to online venues, instead of the usual face-to-face environment
which allows for more interactive brainstorming. And we had limited
IT equipment in the beginning relative to the emerging scale of
Nowadays, its financing
programs – including Bayanihan CARES – are fully electronic and
fully operational, according to Cacanando.
As a result, the agency's
MSME borrowers no longer need to go to its offices, unless they
As it celebrates its 30th
anniversary this year, SBCorp looks forward to enhancing its
relationship with its stakeholders, the small business owners.
accomplishment to date is its attitude of oneness with the MSME
sector. Together with our mother agency, the DTI, we understand the
strengths and weaknesses of MSMEs, and the threats and opportunities
confronting them," Cacanando said. "Moreover, we understand our
responsibility of helping level the playing field in their favor.
Thus, with all modesty, we serve as their strong and able advocate."