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Government lends further assistance to small enterprises through ESF

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Wednesday, December 2, 2009 –  Government officially launched the Exogenous Shock Facility (ESF), on Wednesday, to provide much needed financial assistance to small entrepreneurs.


A sum of seven million Eastern Caribbean dollars has been allocated to the facility which is managed by the Saint Lucia Development Bank.


Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Stephenson King, says the Exogenous Shock Facility will help small businesses recover from the effects of the global economic and financial crisis.


“It is through such facilities like the Exogenous Shock Facility (ESF) that the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) will achieve its mission to provide accessible and affordable services to facilitate enterprise and sustainable socio-economic development,” the prime minister said.

“The ESF will also provide much need support to small businesses to help economic activity and to create employment in our economy.”


Prime Minister King also urged small entrepreneurs to take advantage of the resources under the Exogenous Shock Facility.


Director of the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), Mr Jn. François Sonson, says the launch of the ESF is indeed timely, as several small entrepreneurs have requested assistance from the SLDB.


“We want to ensure that the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) remains viable and sustainable. We will ensure that the bank operates in a manner that will allow it to serve the public of Saint Lucia very well. We also want to assure people that the bank is here to stay. We will be creative and flexible to support every sector of the economy and society in general,” François said.


The Exogenous Shock Facility targets small businesses in various sectors including manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.


The funds allocated to the ESF under the Saint Lucia Development Bank were loaned from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a few months ago.


The loan was offered at a nominal concessionary rate of 0.5 percent interest.

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