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December 20, 2013
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JNSBL to launch low interest-loan programme

Matilda Johnson-Ennevor, owner and operator of The Battery Shop, May Pen, Clarendon, is presented with a certificate of appreciation, in recognition of the strong relationship she has maintained with JN Small Business Limited (JNSBL). The presentation was made recently by Philip Bernard (right), general manager, JNSBL, during a visit to her operation on Nelson Street, May Pen. Parris Lyew-Ayee, chairman, JNSBL, looks on. - Contributed

JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL) will launch its new low interest-loan programme for clients who maintain a good credit history and strong relationship with the island's leading microfinance institution early in the new year.

Addressing clients and guests at the annual JNSBL board of Directors' Tour in May Pen Clarendon, recently, Philip Bernard, general manager, JNSBL, said the company plans to offer rates as low as 10 per cent per annum to clients who qualify.

"The funds for this new low interest-loan programme will be provided through a pool created between JNSBL and its partners, the Development Bank of Jamaica, National Insurance Fund, and the Micro Investment Development Agency, which disburse wholesale funds to the microfinance sector, Bernard stated.

Pointing out that more than 70 percent of its clients secure 15 or more loans from the company, Bernard stressed that microfinance institutions have a responsibility beyond simply providing loans to entrepreneurs, and to use their relationships with the sector to effectively provide solutions that drive their development.

He maintained that, instead, many institutions, which have emerged in the past decade, had become more focused on profits and the bottom line in their approach to financing small businesses.

"Access to microfinance is not simply knowing that funds are available and knowing how quickly one can receive it; or, where and at what interest rate these funds can be had," Bernard emphasised.

"Entrepreneurs need institutions with personnel with whom they can comfortably discuss their problems, explain their situations, and get advice and support about how to improve their business."

The general manager stated that institutions should be using the relationships they have developed with their clients to make the loan process easier, using their history as part of the analysis of their risk and ultimately to determine the interest on their loan.

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