Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced that it will launch Covid-19 business relief loans on 18 January 2021. The Bank will provide finance equivalent to 3 months up to a maximum of 6 months working capital for enterprises affected by Covid-19. The term of the loan will be a maximum of 60 months.
These relief loans will be available to both existing DBN SME borrowers and to enterprises which are not yet clients of the Bank, as long as these enterprises have been in operation for at least 12 months, and meet the qualifying criteria. Information on the qualifying criteria can be obtained from the Bank’s website at www.dbn.com.na/relief from Monday, 18 January 2021, or on information pamphlets available at all DBN offices in the course of late next week. These can also be emailed to interested parties on request.
The DBN and the Development Bank of Germany (KFW) have concluded an N$450 m concessional loan agreement. The DBN will on-lend the money to Namibian SME enterprises that require bridging capital to carry them through the low-revenue earing period caused by the pandemic and those enterprises that wish to restructure their business operations, to best survive in the changing business environment.
DBN CEO, Martin Inkumbi says it is hoped that the financial intervention will contribute to preserving continuity of SME business activities and to build a foundation for recovery. Although the Bank will – through its normal SME lending – continue to finance SME startups, the priority for the Covid-19 business relief loans will be to preserve business continuity and preserve jobs, and therefore these loans are targeted at existing enterprises.
DBN forecasts that the funding will offer financial relief to around 200 SME’s. The Bank will customize the loans based on individual enterprise needs. Industries such as tourism, hospitality, and transport and logistics that have experienced the largest loss of revenue due to lockdown-related effects will be prioritised.
The facility may also be used for diversifying into new business areas that help strengthening resilience of existing companies for future shocks.