Pulling our communities out of the COVID-19 crises also requires providing very robust support for small businesses, who make up the largest employer of labour in the country and are, unfortunately, among the hardest hit economically.
In April, with the fallout of the pandemic biting hard, we took a decision to grant a grace period of 90 days on all loan repayments by small businesses. This means that as a small business owner, no withdrawals would be made from your business account to service the principal or interest of your loan with us for, at least, a 6-month period.
The reason we granted the grace period on loan repayments is two-fold, first because we know that as small businesses have stayed closed to stay safe, they need all the help they can get to also stay afloat. Secondly, we are hoping that our freeze on repayments will, alongside the institutional support that we continue to provide, give small businesses the support they need in driving business recovery when the worst of this pandemic is behind us.
We are also developing resources to help small businesses better understand and navigate the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of such is our Beyond the Pandemic webinar, an online session where we offer expert guidance to small business owners on how to get on the path to recovery for their business.