Government to start guaranteeing loans given to SMEs by commercial banks

Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya (centre), flanked by Ag. Kiambu Governor James Nyoro (right) and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia (extreme left) getting explanations from one of the participants of the Central Region SME Conference & Expo 2019 at Thika Technical Institute grounds

Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said that the government will start to guarantee commercial loans issued to SMEs by commercial banks as an initiative to counter the depressed credit to SMEs.

Under the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme SMEs will start accessing credit without being subjected to complex application procedures and collateral requirements.

While speaking at Thika Technical Institute grounds during the closing ceremony of the Central Region SME Conference & Expo 2019, Munya said that the scheme will unlock the potential of small businesses and was critical to production of competitive goods and services.

The Cs added that, as a ministry, they were also coming up with an SME Policy that will spell out the roadmap for the operations of small, micro and medium businesses.

“Over and above these measures, on the 29th of this month, we will launch 35 constituency industrial centres at Othaya in Nyeri with a target to having similar centres across all our constituencies. These 35 centres are the ones that are ready. Then from there, we will roll out a 100 days of completing another a 100 constituency industrial centres with a view to help SMEs with space to do business,” he said.

He appealed to county governments to cooperate with the national governments to ensure that all these programmes succeeded.

“We have already rolled out a handbook on investment that is intended to give county governments an idea of what they needed to do to set up their investment units and create landmarks for investment,” he said.

Munya said that the government had also rolled out an investment policy that gives the various investment decisions that the government had done to support and protect both local and foreign investors.

“And within this policy document, we have identified what we are referring to as the negative list that protects certain sectors of local investments after realising that we needed to give space for SMEs to thrive in business,” he said.

He challenged the Mt. Kenya governors to kick-start the process of starting the regional economic block which he promised that will get enough support from the national government.
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