COVID-19: SDFC suspends repayment of SME loans for six months

SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) has decided to suspend repayment of principal and interest amount of loans disbursed by the company.

SDFC said the reason for making the decision was to help with the losses the small and medium-sized enterprises face due to the COVID-19. Hence, they have postponed collecting repayments for six months and have reduced the interest rate of those six months to 4%.

As per the statistics, SDFC had disbursed loans worth of MVR 333 million for 301 small and medium-sized enterprises last year. In addition, it was decided to disburse MVR 450 worth of loans this year.

SDFC has been disbursing loans for small and medium-sized enterprises since March last year. It grants loans for operating gust houses, farming, business start-up and business expansion. The interest rate of these loans is small in addition to its equity amount being smaller than other loans.

Thus far, 13 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Maldives, the government has closed schools and educational institutions and on Monday cinemas have also been shut down.

Subsequent to the detection of the virus in the Maldives, the government has banned arrivals from the countries that most numbers of tourists visit the Maldives. With that, the government estimates over USD 400 million loss to the economy.

Moreover, the government has stated that a number of steps are taken to minimize the loss to small and medium-sized enterprises and working on introducing financial packages to help overcome economic losses.