Small businesses are the bedrock of Sint Maarten’s economy. They are a major source of job creation and help encourage innovation; they also provide many of the products and services in our daily lives and contribute to the social cohesion of our island communities.
However, access to finance is a longstanding challenge to small businesses creation and growth, particularly those run by women and young entrepreneurs. Moreover, this sector has been hit the hardest by the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the importance of small businesses, the NRPB, as an implementing agency of the Trust Fund, launched the Enterprise Support Project (ESP). This project aims to support their recovery through direct financial assistance in order to contribute to the restoration of economic activity in Sint Maarten. This involves cooperation with financial institutions, such as commercial banks and social lenders, that offer loans and grants to assist small businesses and enhance their services.
How do we support small businesses?
We offer three packages:
The Working Capital (WC) package is for operational expenses e.g. inventory, rent, or GEBE bills. This is a 100% loan up to US$40,000 for new businesses and US$60,000 for existing businesses.
The Asset and Repair (AR) package consists of a 65% grant and a 35% loan.
For new businesses, it is up to US$85,000. **
For existing businesses, it is even up to US$150,000
- Assets (A) must be productive assets with the ability to generate profits
- Non-structural Repairs (R) refers to minor repairs such as painting, plastering, tiling, and basic roof repair. It excludes load-bearing components
- All AR packages must contain a loan for at least 35%
- For AR packages above US$60,000, businesses must invest 10% of the application themselves.
** Exemptions are possible on a case by case basis. Larger amounts may be pre-approved by the NRPB as second instalments upon proven repayment capacity.
The Refinancing package is up to US$20,000 to free up collateral. The loan must have originated before the launch of the Enterprise Support Project and must be performing.
Eligible enterprises can combine the three packages. However, the total application cannot exceed $150,000 for existing businesses and $85,000 for new businesses.
Connected enterprises cannot receive more than two packages of $150,000, totaling $300,000. Connected enterprises are separate businesses that have a common owner who has more than 40% ownership in each of the enterprises.
Watch the video to learn more!
Whatever business phase you are in, from startup to mature, our partners can assist you in providing financing for your investment needs. From beauty salons to construction companies, you can get in touch with the bank of your choice.