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To help more micro and small business owners, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to double the fund for its microfinancing program under the Small Business (SB) Corp. next year.
 
During the department’s budget hearing in the Senate on Monday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez proposed to increase the SB Corp.’s budget from the annual allocation of PHP1.5 billion to PHP3 billion in 2021.
 
“We have proposed if we can just double it to PHP3 billion because we will (be) able to use up the allocated PHP10 billion for this year in light of the needs of the micro SMEs (small and medium enterprises,” Lopez said.
 
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Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), lawmakers allotted PHP10 billion for SB Corp., the financing arm of DTI, to roll out the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program and other lending programs.
 
SB Corp. used its PHP1-billion fund for the CARES program to help existing micro and small enterprises to continue their businesses amid the pandemic.
 
“This year really is just for survival, and next year, we will continue to hopefully help MSMEs continue their growth, get back on their growth track,” the DTI chief said.

Related: 5 financing options to help you get through the pandemic
 
To further reach more MSMEs across the country, Lopez said SB Corp. will tap the Negosyo Centers nationwide to accept loan applications under the CARES program and give business advice to them.
 
SB Corp. has also opened online applications for interested borrowers.
 
SB Corp. president and chief executive officer Ma. Luna Cacanando said they have set up a system wherein the borrower can sign loan documents digitally using a one-time pin (OTP) system.
 
Cacanando added that the SB Corp. is also improving its system, particularly streamlining requirements and processes for loan application, to efficiently deliver the CARES program.
 
Source: PNA
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