IIC Signs First Loan In The Caribbean Under Its Small Business Revolving Line


The loan will enhance support for Jamaica’s mining sector

Kingston, Jamaica - On July 25, 2008, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) signed a US$350,000 loan agreement in Jamaica with B.O.S. Blocks and Tiles Ltd., which provides transport services for the aluminum industry and manufactures cement blocks. The loan is being provided under the IIC’s Small Business Revolving Line (SBRL).

The loan proceeds will be used to purchase industrial machinery that will increase the company’s capacity to transport mining equipment to its clients’ processing facilities.

This operation arose from an agreement between the IIC and ICWI Investments (ICWI), a member of the ICWI Group, to act as the IIC’s agent in Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica to identify and evaluate small and medium-size enterprises that are eligible for direct financing under the SBRL. The agreement was made possible by funding that the IIC received from the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund.

The SBRL is a financial product that enables the IIC to offer standardized small loans to eligible small enterprises under an expedited approval process. It is currently offered in Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. The SBRL targets private companies operating in the agribusiness, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, service, and construction sectors, as well as any other sector that contributes to the local economy.

Baron Stewart, founder and managing director of B.O.S. Blocks and Tiles, signed for the company and said, "The IIC loan does more than give us the financial support we need to continue growing as a company. It will also enable us to improve the level and quality of service to the sector. The IIC is thus furthering the development of the mining industry, which is a key part of our economy."

ICWI vice president Patrick Williams signed for the IIC. Mr. Williams stressed that "the agreement between ICWI and the IIC is an example of how teamwork can lead to positive action to support economic development in the Caribbean."

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, the IIC reached US$1.2 billion in assets and approved 62 transactions channeling US$470 million to SMEs in the region. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Johnny Jirón (in Nicaragua)

Telephone: + (505) 267-0831

Email: johnnyj@iadb.org