GFI allocates additional ₧300M in soft loans for small firms


THE Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.) allocated an additional P300 million for its “soft loan” program to help micro-scale businesses and small firms pay the 13th-month benefit of their workers.

SB Corp. Spokesman Robert Bastillo said they opted to raise the original budget for the loan facility from only P200 million to P500 million in anticipation of the large number of companies, which will avail of it.

Bastillo estimates the current fund for the program could benefit between 6,000 firms to 7,000 companies.

He said establishments, which are interested to avail of the program, could apply through the SB Corp. website from November 2 to December 7.

Bastillo said the deadline is meant to give SB Corp. enough time to process the loans before December 24, which is the deadline for the payment of 13th month benefits.

“Under the law, such transactions should take 20 days processing, but we are targeting to complete the processing per application [for the soft loan] within 7 days to 10 days,” Bastillo said.

Application requirements

TO qualify for the loan, the applicant must be included in the list of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of over 11,000 companies that implemented flexible work arrangements between March 2020 until October 15, 2021.

“The reason why they will be prioritized is because we will not have time to validate the companies one by one because there is only a short period left before Christmas,” Bastillo said in an online interview with a government-owned television station.

“If it is reported with [the] DOLE, we are sure they are legitimate,” he added.

The company must also be in the “micro” or “small” category, which means having 20 or less employees.

The amount of the loan could range from P12,000, which is the minimum, to over P50,000, according to Bastillo.

The applicants must present a Barangay Business Permit if they will borrow below P50,000 and a Mayor’s permit if they will borrow more than P50,000.

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