Government has introduced several initiatives to support business recovery, following the severe impact of Covid-19, which devastated an already-struggling economy.
Among these initiatives is a facility through the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), targeted towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that add to an already-existing bridging facility from the development bank.
According to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, DBN’s funding facility is earmarked for companies that receive contracts from public entities to enable them to receive finance for the implementation of contracts. This is intended to ensure the SMEs participate optimally in public procurement.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted the funding facility comes after concerns that implementation of government contracts is dominated by foreign companies.
“This has been the case because of restricted access to credit for Namibian companies. This facility assists for them to have access to funding as a special provision that allows those who do not have security to collateralise their loans to seed their contract income for security,” she explained last week during a Covid-19 briefing.
Another initiative to assist companies is the N$500 million facility from the Bank of Namibia (BoN) to be administered through commercial banks. This facility aims to provide credit to companies to enable them to engage in productive activities to help the economy bounce back from the recession through employment creation opportunities.
The PM was responding to a question of whether the emergency income grant (EIG) provided by government can be extended to provide relief to those still negatively affected by the pandemic and whether Social Security Commission (SSC) can be engaged to provide relief to employers to save jobs.
She noted that the public and especially the self-employed were encouraged to register with SSC to claim unemployment benefits when necessary.
“Because it will not be possible for SSC to continue for an extended period to provide grants in as much as they may sympathise with what compatriots are going through because they will not have the financial ability to do that,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila responded.
She further indicated that at the time SSC was considering paying out to those companies and individuals that had not yet registered for income assistance when not employed.
“The current arrangement allows people to join SSC by contributing so that when they do not have a job they get these benefits from SSC”.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila encouraged Namibians to embrace the initiates that have been implemented to mitigate the negative impact of the emergency caused by the pandemic. – firstname.lastname@example.org