The Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) has so far disbursed over $13.6 million for 3,008 loan applications to businesses and entrepreneurs in various sectors across Barbados.
Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, gave a breakdown of the funds disbursed and the sectors involved while speaking during the opening ceremony for a joint BTFL, National Conservation Commission training series on debt and money management at the Christ Church Parish Church on Monday.
He said 48 per cent of the loans were distributed to males, and 52 per cent to females. The Minister said 350 loans, amounting to $1, 652, 316, were disbursed to the agricultural sector, and the 144 loans made to the cultural and creative industries totalled $652, 823.
Loans to the 283 businesses in the manufacturing sector were valued at $1,262, 001, while there were 896 loans disbursed to the retail sector worth $3,948,498.37.
Additionally, the Fund processed 1,308 loans totalling $6,035,798 to the services sector, while the tourism sector received 27 loans valued at $130,003.
The Small Business Minister stated that the BTFL had provided training for 1,300 clients in topics such as: An Introduction to Management; Financial Literacy; Customer Service Excellence and Marketing & Promotion.
Mr. Sutherland added: “A training workshop of this kind is most critical at this time when many small businesses in Barbados and around the world are struggling and trying to hold their heads above water because of the severe negative impact that the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic is having on the world’s economies.”
The workshops, which began on Monday, July 20, end tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, when Customer Service will be discussed.