The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $500 million loan from a redirection of resources in its portfolio with Argentina to support the sustainability and recovery of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that were hit by the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan is part of a support package announced by the IDB Group for Argentina consisting of disbursements totaling $1.8 billion in 2020, the largest amount in 10 years. It was approved in a new simplified procedure, which the Bank adopted to speed up support for the region’s countries trying to tackle the public health crisis.
The program will help MSMEs to overcome temporary liquidity problems, meet their commercial and financial obligations and thus stay afloat, through financing for working capital and refinancing of existing loans.
The loan will help these businesses recover through access to medium-term financing that will allow them to restore their productive capability, meet their needs for productive reconversion and adaptation in the process of digital transformation as a result of the coronavirus crisis. It will also help them deal with a temporary rise in demand as a result of the crisis.
To this end, there are plans to improve financing terms and the granting of loans through the National Productive Development Fund (FONDEP, for its Spanish acronym), and set aside resources for guarantees so as to facilitate access to loans made by Intermediate Financial Institutions (IFI), through the Argentine Guarantee Fund (FOGAR). Both funds are administered by BICE Fideicomisos S.A. (BFSA).
FONDEP will facilitate access to direct loans, indirect financing by way of IFI loans, and financing for anchor companies in benefit of MSMEs suppliers that are part of their value chain. FONDEP will also be able to finance the subsidy of the interest rate on loans granted by the IFI and guaranteed by FOGAR. The latter will be strengthened through the contribution of resources that will let it grant guarantees for improve MSMEs access to credit.
An estimated 30,000 MSMEs will benefit from the program, including 6,000 defined as comprising or led by women, giving priority to industries linked to auto manufacturing, machinery, equipment, clothing and footwear because of their vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
Juan Antonio Ketterer
IDB Project Team Leader