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Jan 31, 2018

The D.F.C. is Open for Business

Last May, the National Assembly approved, via motion, a line of credit offered by the Caribbean Development Bank to the Development Finance Corporation for forty million Belize dollars or twenty million U.S. dollars.  The national development bank has gotten on its feet after being re-established in 2009 and is once again advertising itself as a safe alternative to regular banks or credit unions, though with some risks. General Manager of the D.F.C. Natalie Ewing-Goff tells us more.

 

Natalie Ewing-Goff

Natalie Ewing-Goff, General Manager, D.F.C.

“Because of the demand for credit, especially in terms of development financing, we have had to ramp up the amount that we are able to get for lending. And so we approached C.D.B. in early 2016 about a line of credit for forty million dollars, expecting that they would have probably reduced the amount, but to our surprise and appreciation, they actually approved the entire forty million dollars. The funds will primarily be used for – fifty percent of the funds will be used in the productive or business sector: farmers, business owners, small, micro, medium enterprises, whatever business. Coming along with that line is an energy component; we are trying to roll out energy efficiency in Belize whether it be light bulbs, the use of solar equipment to reduce energy costs in Belize. And also we have approved the usual mortgage financing and educational loan facilities. Any banker will tell you that a good loan or a bad loan happens at approval, and so we have ensured that much more scrutiny and more much analysis is done when the applicant comes in. And that is why some people feel we ask too many questions; but we need to be assured that if it it’s a business, the cash flows from the business will be able to repay the loan and so we have to do a forecast of what we expect from the business over the four, five year period the loan is for.”

 

Following opening ceremonies in Belize City, invited attendees decamped to Belmopan for a continuing conference with the visiting C.D.B. officials. Potential loan applicants are advised to be prepared and be patient as the D.F.C. does its background checks. 

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