NCCI urges SMEs to utilise recovery loans

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The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is urging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to utilise the relaunched Covid-19 SME Loan Scheme, now renamed the SME Economic Recovery Scheme.

The Covid-19 SME Loan Scheme was launched in November 2020 by the Bank of Namibia and government with N$500 million to help SMEs recover from the pandemic’s effects. However, the scheme did not go according to plan, with only N$6.4 million, or 1.3%, utilised for this purpose. 

NCCI CEO Charity Mwiya on Wednesday urged SMEs to approach their office and get assistance to make sure their applications are viable. 

“We are here to provide information and guide you. Please approach us, and make use of this financial assistance from the government to make sure your businesses thrive. We played our part in making sure criteria are revised, so let’s get this and expand our businesses,” she urged.

SMEs are expected to apply for these loans from commercial banks.

Mwiya made these remarks during an NCCI business community outreach consultative meeting in Windhoek, which was conducted in collaboration with the Khomas Regional Council.

The consultative meeting was held to enable the NCCI to discuss their SME service offerings, how the chamber can offer or facilitate appropriate support to improve SME businesses, and discuss procedures related to trade affecting SMEs in Khomas. The meeting further aimed to understand SME challenges, constraints, business policies, concerns, success stories and NCCI expectations.