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Co-op Bank launches MSME Unit to boost small businesses

Larry Lawrence, Managing Director of Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd

In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bolstering the island’s economic landscape, the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., has officially launched its Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Unit.

This new division, which was launched at the Spice Island Beach resort on Wednesday is expected to serve as a comprehensive resource hub, providing essential financial services and support to the country’s MSME sector, which has long faced challenges in accessing structured support and financing.

Regarding MSME’s as the backbone of the local economy, Larry Lawrence, Managing Director of Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., emphasised the transformative potential of this new unit, noting that while most large institutions and organisations have a proper structure in place to assist small businesses or MSME’s they do not provide the necessary support for small business to thrive.

“You have the small business owner who has the idea and can operationalise the idea but what they do lack is the sort of HR, technical, and accounting support which is necessary for them to do banking, or for them to qualify for loan financing.

“So, what are the MSME unit will do is offer that support to small businesses, and the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., as Grenada’s only indigenous commercial bank, is happy to so facilitate, Lawrence further explained in an interview with reporters following Wednesday’s launch.

The bank’s MSME Unit is designed to cater specifically to the diverse needs of small businesses, offering tailored financial solutions that consider the purpose of the loan, and the operational history of the enterprise.

Lawrence is encouraging small business owners to contact the unit to learn about the specific criteria. According to him, the “loan requirements will vary depending on the business’s needs.”

Additionally, the Bank’s Managing Director explained that there is no fixed limit on financing, allowing businesses the flexibility to secure the funds they need to expand.

“Essentially, the sky is the limit,” he added, encouraging MSME owners to “contact the unit to learn about the specific criteria.”

The launch event saw attendance from numerous business owners, including Robert Bristol, Managing Director of Bristol’s Pest Grenada, OASIS Pet and Garden, and Petco Grenada, who hailed the initiative as a beacon of hope for small business owners.

“As we know, without money, you can’t do anything…so, hopefully these types of initiatives could help fill a gap, you know; help encourage small business owners to invest, and to want to grow their businesses, Bristol remarked.

In addition to launching the MSME Unit, the bank also introduced its new electronic newsletter, set to be issued quarterly.

In making the announcement during his keynote address Chairman of the Board of Director Daryl Brathwaite said this newsletter will keep business owners informed about the latest financial products, services, and support programmes available.

The establishment of the MSME Unit by the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., represents a significant milestone in supporting the island’s small business community, ensuring they have the financial backing to contribute effectively to Grenada’s economic development.

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