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Economic Ministry offers loans for small, medium businesses

Economic Ministry offers loans for small, medium businesses

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs launched a program Monday to provide loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of efforts to help them obtain funds without being saddled by exorbitant interest charges. Taiwan has 1.28 million SMEs, representing about 97.63 percent of all the country's businesses, of which 56 percent are owned by individual proprietors, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said at a press conference held to launch the program. These business owners are often unable to obtain loans from banks and are forced to turn to other channels such as credit cards and even underground moneylenders, which subject them to high interest rates, Shih said. The program provides credit guarantees using the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund and allows smaller businesses to apply for loans from financial institutions. All legally registered enterprises that employ fewer than five people are eligible to apply for the loans in the form of revolving funds of up to NT$5 million (US$170,800), said Yeh Yun-lung, director-general of the ministry's Department of Commerce. The ceiling does not apply to businesses that have suffered losses as a result of natural disasters, Yeh added. The total loans for capital expenditure are capped at 80 percent of the program's funds. The ministry is scheduled to host three forums in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung later this month through December to provide more details about the program. (By Lin Meng-ju and Kendra Lin)


Updated : 2021-08-04 17:07 GMT+08:00