SME Bank okays B62m for Samut Prakan
The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank) has approved another 62.3 million baht in soft loans to 41 SMEs in Samut Prakan to help them get through the Covid-19 crisis.
Businesses in auto parts, electronics, plastics, chemicals, construction, packaging, biomass and processed agricultural products have been granted access to the loans with low interest rates.
One loan programme that aims to bolster the local economy offers 2.8% interest for the first three years of the loan.
The state-run SME D Bank and the Industry Ministry do not want to see the pandemic stop these entrepreneurs from developing their businesses towards the Thailand 4.0 goal, an initiative that emphasises a transition to technological advances and high-level services.
"The ministry wants to keep SMEs in line with Thailand 4.0 and improve their efficiency," said Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
He said the bank directed its help to Samut Prakan because the province, located east of Bangkok, houses a number of small factories.
Since earlier this year, the government has granted soft loans worth 565 million baht to 431 businesses in the province. Up to 250 of them needed help to cope with Covid-19 impact.
The soft loans under SME D Bank is one tool the government is using to relieve their burden.
Earlier in May, an administrative committee on SME development funds approved 1.7 billion baht in loans to help 10,000 business owners deal with the pandemic and drought.
The loan scheme offers an annual interest rate of 1% for five years, with maximum loan of 1 million baht per business.
However, applicants are required to make scheduled debt payments on previous loans for the past 12 months and have no non-performing loans.
As of the end of June, the SME D Bank has granted loans worth 535 million baht to 2,364 SMEs, Mr Suriya said.
In addition, up to 3,123 businesses joined a debt moratorium programme, he said.