The Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC) offers guarantees to financial institutions on behalf of entrepreneurs who seek loans for business purposes such as inventory purchases, expansion, working capital, and investment in equipment.
The Corporation has been in operation since 2020 and has, so far, guaranteed loans in excess of XCD2.5m to a variety of sectors across three Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) member states. All the commercial banks in the region are signatories to the agreement with ECPCGC and can submit applications on behalf of their Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clients.
In recognition of the adverse effects that COVID-19 has had on regional business, the Corporation has revisited the parameters for the guarantees and has announced the following changes:
The guarantee fee is now reduced from 2.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent of the approved amount;
The maximum loan amount has been increased from XCD300k to XCD750k;
The length of the guarantee is now equivalent to that of the actual loan, up from a 10-year limit;
The Working Capital Guarantee is still available as a short-term loan for established businesses and has a maximum loan size of XCD200k for a five-year term; and
The Startup Guarantee is available for a maximum loan size of XCD100k for a 10-year term, for businesses that are in operation for less than two years.
ECPCGC’s Board of Directors has also approved the provision of Technical Assistance to entrepreneurs who have been requested by financial institutions to produce financial statements and business plans but are unable to do so. The services of a Marketing Consultant and an Accountant would soon become available, and borrowers would be referred by their financial institutions for the requisite assistance in meeting the loan requirements.
Finally, the Corporation also announces that it is in the process of admitting credit unions into the programme. Several of these institutions have expressed their interest in making this facility available to their clients, and are in discussions with the Corporation.