By Pacific Island Times News Staff
FSM seeking to assist at least 200 small businesses via $3M microloan program
President Panuelo Hands Over Three Million Dollars to the FSM Development Bank for Small/Micro Enterprise Loans Palikir, Pohnpei— The Federated States of Micronesia is aiming to help at least 200 microenterprises through a $3 million interest-free loan program to be facilitated by the FSM Development Bank.
“The FSM Development Bank plays a critical role in building and promoting our nation’s private sector,” FSM President David Panuelo said in a statement after handing over the $3 million loan fund to the bank's president and CEO Anna Mendiola on March 5.
The funding, made possible through assistance from the Asian Development Bank, is part of the FSM government's $14-million Covid-19 related social protection programming.
“I have every confidence in the Development Bank’s capacity to do their part in strengthening our nation’s economic resiliency against the Covid-19 pandemic, and I encourage every small and microenterprise in the nation in need of an interest-free loan to reach out to their FSM Development Bank branch at their nearest opportunity," Panuelo said.
The loan program will allow the FSM Development Bank to provide eligible businesses interest-free loans for two years in an effort to stabilize the nation’s economy during the pandemic, and allow the FSM to emerge from the pandemic with a stronger economic outlook. The FSM national government has stipulated that a minimum of 50 percent of the loans through this program be given to women in business, to which CEO Mendiola advised she is keen to meet and/or possibly exceed this threshold.