The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has provided $27 million in loans to the Grenada Development Bank (GDB to help boost agriculture, fisheries, tourism, housing, small business development as well as human resource development.
A ceremony was held at the Flamboyant Hotel, attended by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell to launch the programme for the disbursement of funds.
“With the launch today, the future is even brighter for entrepreneurs, for students and our home owners. This launch is taking place at a time when economic prospects and businesses are on the rise,” said the Prime Minister.
GDB Manager, Mervyn Lord announced that $13.5 million is earmarked for business with $1.35 million specifically for renewable and energy efficient technology, $9.45 million in student loans, $1.3 million for special student loans and $2.7 million for home mortgages.
“We can provide a minimum loan of $8,100.00 but (up to) $945,000.00 We have an average interest rate about 8.5% and we can provide a grace period of up to three years during which time we would require only interest payments.
“We have a maximum repayment term of 12 years inclusive of the grace. What we mean by that is if we give you two years grace (period), then you have a maximum payment term of 10 years.
Lord said the GDB can provide up to 100% financing to businesses to purchase and install energy efficient equipment.
The funds, he added should be used to design, purchase and install renewable energy facilities such as solar panels, wind turbines, solar dryers, and solar water heaters.
“We can also provide funding for business persons to design or redesign their building or the factory layout etc for optimum energy saving. The maximum loan is $270,000.00. We have a very concessionary interest rate of only 6% and like the general business loan, a grace period can be provided through the implementation stage of the project. The maximum loan term for this initiative is three years inclusive of the grace period,” he told the ceremony.
Persons securing general education loans can obtain up to 100% financing for tertiary level education after secondary school.
According to Lord, this loan will be up to a maximum of $121,500 save and except for programmes such as medicine, law etc. where the maximum loan in $202, 500.00.
“The proceeds of the loan can be used for but not limited to tuition, books and related materials, room and board, transportation and even legal. The interest rate is 8% with a maximum repayment term of 12 years excluding the grace and let me say we will provide students with the grace for the entire duration of study”, he said.
“…Student loans will be provided to the vulnerable students at an interest rate of 5% during the study period and 7% thereafter. These are for students who are academically or skillfully inclined but financially challenged. Unlike the general student loan that must be fully secured, loans for the special student loan can be provided with unsupported guarantors,” he added.
Persons looking to secure funds for home mortgages are also targeted through the funds provided from CDB to GDB.
Lord said the loan progamme will cater primarily for low and middle income earners with a monthly salary not exceeding $4000 for a single borrower or joint borrowers within the $6000 figure.
“The maximum loan will be $180,000 for a single borrower and $270,000 for joint borrowers. Loans can be used for repairs, extensions, purchasing new houses or the construction of new house,” he remarked.
It was also announced that interest rates at GDB will be reduced until August.
Mortgage loans will move from 6.5% to 5.99%, business loans 8.5% to 7.5%, general student loans from 8% to 7%, Transportation loans 9.5% to 8.5% and energy efficient loans from 6% to 5.5% and legal fees and bank charges will be reduced by 50%.