Small and medium-sized (SME) businesses in Jamaica looking to adopt solar energy solutions have been given a boost with the launch of a new loan product by the National Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica.
The loan, which is aimed at financing the acquisition and installation of solar equipment, offers borrowers a medium-term, non-revolving, secured product that can run for up to seven years at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent.
According to Winston Lawson, general manager for the bank’s Trade and Commercial Lending Division, the bank has earmarked funds to finance up to 85 per cent of the total costs of acquiring and installing appropriate solar equipment.
The entity will accept solar panels and equipment as collateral, with an applicable margin of 60 per cent on new equipment. However, loans exceeding $40 million will require an energy audit from a registered energy auditor.
Lisa Bell, managing director of EX-IM Bank, highlighted the loan’s potential to reduce carbon footprints and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as global energy costs continue to fluctuate.
She added that the bank had responded to the needs of its clients and aimed to contribute to wider national economic development.
The EX-IM Bank of Jamaica is a trade and financing institution and the first of its kind in the Caribbean. It aims to assist in the growth of the productive sector by offering financing solutions that support the export of Jamaican goods and services, and by providing trade information and advice to businesses.