By James Wafula in Nairobi.
Kenya’s Co-operative Bank has intensified efforts to bail out small and medium scale enterprises hit hard by the Covid-
19 global pandemic 2020-2021 and are yet to recover.
The bank has extended up to Ksh6.3 billion ($56.06 million) advanced from the European Investment Bank to help shore up SMEs in the country.
The cash was availed early this year for onward lending to small businesses to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Co-op Bank Chief Executive Officer Dr Gideon Muriuki said micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) firms with up to 250 workers had been allowed to apply and secure the loan on friendly short term basis.
The long-term loan will be repayable in seven years and will assist MSMEs fund the acquisition of tangible business assets, working capital, development of distribution networks innovation and business research.
Dr. Muriuki said the lending is part of the bank’s effort to contribute to the recovery of Kenya’s businesses following the Covid-19 challenges.
“The credit facility will be available for up to a maximum of Ksh1.5 billion ($13.3 million) per customer for a maximum tenor of seven years,” he said.“Co-operative Bank commitment to the SME sector in Kenya will ensure that this facility will be available immediately,” Dr. Muriuki added.
The EU loan is widely seen as a show of confidence in Co-op bank continued improved efficient performance in all its platforms that include online banking , and digital operations locally and abroad ■