Multi-Chambers & AMCHAM SBE Committee: Soft Loans for SMEs
Soft Loans for SMEs
On April 30, AMCHAM's Small Business & Entrepreneur (SBE) Committee, together with British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (BCCT) and the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC), hosted an informative session on the recently announced Soft Loan Scheme for SMEs, launched by the Bank of Thailand (BoT) and Ministry of Finance. The event was attended by over 70 members of the three Chambers and was facilitated by Greg Boudah, AMCHAM Board of Governor and Owner and Managing Director of Spokes Jewelry.
Ornkanya Pibuldham, AMCHAM Board of Governor and Managing Director & Chief Country Officer, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, welcomed Bank of Thailand (BoT) Assistant Governor, Jaturong Jantarangs, who presented details of the scheme, which has allocated 500 billion Baht in funding for commercial banks to lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). The program is intended to mitigate the immediate liquidity problems that many SMEs face, and allow them to continue to pay salaries and other essential costs.
Assistant Governor Jaturong explained the details of the program that has been extended to over 16,000 applicants and explained the two relief measures that are given under the soft loan program, which include financial assistance to SMEs affected by the covid-19 situation and the postponement of loan repayment. He also shared details on loan qualifications and other key information such as definition of SMEs for banks and why banks use end year as reference for credit outstanding for some companies.
He encouraged members to talk to their individual banks to restructure or replan the loan and take advantage of the 6-month relief measure. Member companies expressed that there was difficulty getting the loans for companies who did not have sufficient collateral or the need for loans before but need financial assistance now due to the situation, Assistant Governor Jaturong shared their concern and mentioned that he would discuss these further with the authorities.
The BoT presentation was followed by question and answer session moderated by Sunanta Titikajorn, Director of Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America. AMCHAM Board Governor, Tibor Pandi, Country Head for Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos for Citi, also shared details of what Citi was doing globally and thanked Assistant Governor Jaturong for speaking to the members of all the chambers present on the call.