Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is running a program to support Small and Micro Enterprises that have been affected by covid 19 pandemic in the country.
The KNCCI President Richard Ngatia said the program through Master card foundation has seen members getting loans ranging from Sh. 1000 to Sh. 30,000.
Speaking during the beginning of his first coastal tour after opening the KNCCI Kilifi County offices in Malindi he promised to lobby for funds for members, whose businesses have been affected by Covid-19.
He said his aim is to ensure the loans rise to Sh. 500,000 so as to enable the members get the support to revive their businesses.
The president noted that coastal region which relied heavily on the tourism sector has suffered a lot as the industry is among the hard hit by the pandemic and businesses have challenges.
Ngatia said they have many donors lined up who are ready to support SMES revamp their businesses again.
He said their coastal tour which is the first was meant to enable them understands the need for business people and seek better ways of supporting them.
“Since the covid 19 pandemic begun the business have been highly affected many people have closed down their businesses, tourists who used to support youth get employment returned to their countries,” he said.
The president said they held talks with National government and council of governors on how to support SMEs by enabling them get loans and be trained on how to continue doing their businesses.
He said training has already been done in 43 out of the 47 counties and members can apply for loans.
He thanked the Kilifi county NNCCI Chairman Majid Swaleh for opening the office in Kilifi county as it’s the first time in history to have one in the county.
Ngatia said they have donors such as equity bank who are issuing loans with interest and urged those who were trained in the 43 counties to begin applying the loans.
He said there are also others like Amref Italians who are supporting women groups, Agra who deal with farming adding that they are still in talks with other donors from different countries to see the best way to support them.
The president said there is need for people to benefit from the blue economy projects adding that currently the Multi billion Lapsset project in Lamu is ready and will offer job opportunities to many youths.
“We are also in talks with countries such as Tanzania Burundi the presidents were here and want to see the best way to cooperate in trade,” he said.
Ngatia hailed the Kilifi county members for utilizing the first loans from Master card foundation and urged those who have not paid to pay.
Some of the beneficiaries of the master card foundation loans thanked the KNCCI for supporting them with loans and urged them to increase the loan amount.