192 SMEs granted P7.1 million assistance

BAGUIO CITY – (17 March 2021) – Some 192 distressed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the city were granted more than a total of P7.16 million assistance by the city government under Baguio’s Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy–Economic Stimulus Package (BRAVE-ESP).

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias reported that the number of local businesses that availed of the financial assistance program is quite low that confirms his previous suspicion that the problem is not the availability of funds but the number of clients qualified to be granted the same.

He encouraged SMEs to apply for funds they could use for the recovery of their businesses from the economic clump and help gradually, safely, surely and responsibly bring back the vibrance of the local economy.

The city treasurer claimed the city government reduced the amount to be loaded to SMEs from P100 million to only P40 million because of the reported low utilization of the funds, and the balance will be used to augment funds to procure the needed vaccines for city residents.

Earlier, the city government targeted more than 2,000 SMEs impacted by the prevailing pandemic to be provided with loan assistance following the roll out of the BRAVE-ESP to allow them to cope on their businesses.

Cabarrubias urged SMEs needing additional resources to avail of the loan offered by the city government under the BRAVE-ESP to revitalize their businesses and help revive the local economy.

Under the BRAVE-ESP, small enterprises are allowed to avail of a maximum of P30,000 while medium enterprises are also allowed to borrow some P50,000 payable in a maximum of 24 months with a service charge of 6 percent.

The city tapped the expertise of the Small Business Corporation (SBC) to evaluate and assess the loan application of interested SMEs. After the approval by the SBC of the applied loan, the city government shall in turn release to the applicant the amount for use in the revitalization of their distressed business operations.

The BRAVE-ESP is a financial assistance of the city government to help alleviate the conditions of SMEs that had been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as it took its toll on the operation of all businesses that caused the displacement of workers, closure of businesses among others that affected the vibrance of the local economy.

Based on the terms of the loan agreement, the monthly payments of the qualified SMEs shall be remitted to the City Treasury Office and shall be placed and forms part of the city’s trust fund that could be again loaned to interested businesses in the future.

The city’s local finance committee shall submit to the local legislative body the updates on the availment of the financial assistance offered under the BRAVE-ESP. – Dexter A. See