Qredits gives boost to Statia business finance

ST. EUSTATIUS–Local business on St. Eustatius received a boost in the availability of finance. From September onwards, funds to start or expand a business will be made available through the Dutch and European Union-backed system of Qredits. These new credit facilities will be available through an agreement signed Friday between Managing Director of Qredits Elwin Groenevelt and newly elected Chairman of the St. Eustatius and Saba Chamber of Commerce and Industry Carlyle Tearr.

  “Our experience of micro-financing has proved highly successful in the Netherlands and more recently on Bonaire where during the last year, we have processed loans for more than 60 applications.” Groenevelt told The Daily Herald.

  “Over the last eight years, we have produced 10,000 loans that have created over 25,000 new jobs. We are hopeful that on Statia, our credit facilities will provide a great stimulus for new and established business,” said Groenevelt.

  He explained that maximum loans of US $25,000 per business entity are available. “Applicants will need to provide a simple business plan. Normally, no more than five pages of information to describe their ideas, goals, and how they want to use the credit. The funds can be used for a rainbow of purposes, from acquiring land, production equipment, office accommodation, stock, starting capital, to marketing research…Size of projected turnover is important. However, our experience is such that starting a business first requires making a lot of sense before making a lot of cents.”

  All applications can be processed online and a decision is usually produced within three weeks, Groenevelt added.

  Interest rates for such loans are high and typically around 8.75 per cent. “Such rates clearly reflect the risk cost of business in the region.” says Groenevelt.

  “But they are still very attractive in comparison with Caribbean banks. By their very nature, local banks tend to be interested in large private business accounts. Qredits on the other hand is totally focused on the interests and excitement that are created by local-for-local ventures,” he said.

  “Our funds are there to appeal to a wide audience of dreamers and schemers. Anyone who is inspired to start a simple enterprise such as a hair salon, a restaurant, a plumbing service, or whatever crazy online or offline wealth-creating idea, we are interested.”

  However, Groenevelt is quick to add that his loan managers are extremely alert to anybody who is on the take and not the make. “Every loan is accompanied by an army of individual coaches and mentors who are partners in the whole process. Whereas we want monthly reports and repayments, we also want to push the right business buttons. Inspiration is just as important as perspiration.”

  At the contract signing ceremony, Tearr pledged the full support of the Chamber with the creation of new funds. “Statia needs a vision for business development,” he insisted. “Qredits has a track record in promoting the creation of business. Applicants wanting to use such business credit on Statia only have to step into our office or apply online. Let’s make it happen,” Tearr said.

  Commissioner of Finance Charles Woodley was also a witness at the contract signing. “Our Government is 100 per cent behind this initiative. Economic growth on Statia is a priority and this development will ensure that the funds are there for making local business a success by creating new opportunities and new jobs.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67904-qredits-gives-boost-to-statia-business-finance