Relief loans for tourism businesses

PHUKET: The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SME Bank) of Thailand is offering members of the Phuket Eco-tourism Association (PEA) loans of up to 5 million baht, it was announced today. Speaking at a seminar held at the Royal Phuket City Hotel this afternoon, SME Bank Phuket branch manager Adisorn Kittipatanapaiboon said that loans of between 300,000 and 5 million baht are available to help the businesses recover from Phuket’s tourism industry crisis. “The objective of these loans is to provide emergency funds and boost companies’ cash flow so they can carry out promotional activities, such as joining roadshows in foreign countries,” K. Adisorn said. He explained that for a company to qualify for a loan, it must, in addition to being a member of the PEA: • be directly or indirectly related to Phuket tourism; • have been incorporated for at least a year; • be a Thai company; • not have filed for bankruptcy; • be licensed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The loans, which will carry interest of 6% a year, are repayable in monthly instalments, and must be completely repaid within two years of receipt of funds. Although no collateral is required, a guarantor is a must. A fee of 2.5% of the loan amount is levied to process the loan, and must be paid in advance. An approval fee of 0.25% or 10,000 baht, whichever is the lesser, will also be levied. Applications for loans will be accepted until October 31, and will be sent to SME Bank head office in Bangkok for approval. However, K. Adisorn said, “I will consult with Bangkok to see whether we can process these loans in Phuket instead, so that we don’t waste business owners’ time.” The Phuket Eco-tourism Association is located at 100/27 Chalermprakiat Ror IX Rd, Phuket Town. Tel: 076-354721-2. Fax: 076-354722. Email: The Phuket branch of the SME Bank is located at 48/4 Damrong Rd, Phuket Town. Tel/Fax: 076-241237-8. Email: [email][/email]

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