Only 20% of CARES fund released in 5 months

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    The Small Business Corp. has released P2 billion worth of loans under its COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES( program benefitting 19,601 companies, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

    The DTI said it has approved 21,358 loan applications valued at P2.27 billion as of February 2.

    The cumulative amount represents 20 percent of the P10-billion total allocation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One for CARES , designed to help micro and small enterprises recover from losses due to unprecedented setbacks that their businesses faced during the pandemic. Loan releases started in October.

    The CARES Program is part of the administration’s economic relief program for micro and small enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SB Corporation, an attached agency under the DTI, supervises the CARES Program.

    Under the CARES program, micro and small enterprises operating for at least a year prior to March 16 and with an asset size not exceeding P15 million can tap the program.

    Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow from P10,000 to P200,000 while small enterprises with asset size of not more than P15 million may borrow as much as P500,000. Interest rate on the loan is pegged at 0% payable for 18 to 30 months.

    The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses. Micro and small enterprises may use the loan for the following purposes: updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; inventory replacement for perishable stocks damaged; and working capital replacement to restart the business.