Micro and small businesses now have something to look forward to to tide them over amid these trying times. 

The Small Business (SB) Corporation is now releasing loans to micro and small enterprises under its COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES). As of the first week of July, a total of P22 million was released to 283 loan beneficiaries. 

Small businesses operating for at least a year prior to March 16 (the start of the lockdown) and with assets not exceeding P15 million can apply for the program.

The loan shall be used to stabilize business and speed up its recovery process. It can be utilized to update amortization for vehicle loans or fixed asset loans, inventory replacement (especially for perishable stocks that were damaged) and working capital replacement to restart the business.

Those with an asset size not more than P3 million may borrow P10,000 to P200,000 while those who have not more than P15 million may borrow as much as P500,000. Interest rate is also at zero percent payable for 18 to 30 months. 

Of the current 283 loan beneficiaries, 71 are from Region IV-A followed by National Capital Region and Cordillera Administrative Region with 52 and 56 beneficiaries, respectively.

To date there are already 2,419 approved accounts with a loan value amounting to P178.2 million. The SB Corporation is planning to release the P1 billion-fund of the program by the end of August.

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