Unicomer launches Microloans for small businesses
Managing Director for Unicomer Barbados, Trisha Tannis
One of the island's leading retailers is supporting small business growth and development.
Unicomer Barbados Ltd has been offering financial assistance to Barbadians through its Courts Ready Cash arm but the group has taken things a step further with the launch of its Microloans initiative targetting small and micro-businesses.
Speaking at the launch held at Hilton's Needhams Point Ballroom, Managing Director for Unicomer Barbados, Trisha Tannis said that the Microloans seeks to cater to the needs of small and developing Barbadian businesses.
"Commerical enterprises large, medium, small, and micro share the common experience of a challenging economic and business environment, which has been precipitated by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
For businesses to survive in this new normal they will be forced to adapt to the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented. Now more than ever, we embrace the ethos of social and business partnerships that would oversee the fusion of our financial strength with the needs of small and developing enterprises," Tannis said.
Director of Consumer Finance, Vashti Ince echoed Tannis' sentiments adding that they intend to contribute to the growth of the small business sector by offering fast and secure processing of their microloans.
"Our vision is to support, guide, and strengthen micro-businesses and by extension, contribute to the development, economic sustainability, and growth of the small business sector. The strength of our product is that we provide fast, secure processing with no security hassle and no deposit required," Ince added.
She explained that qualified applicants for the Microloans must be Barbadians or permanent residents that are owners of legal businesses, that have been trading for no less than one year, and produce and market goods or services from trade industry service or production sectors with the legal capacity to borrow funds.
The consumer finance director went on to reveal that Unicomer has partnered with the Small Business Association (SBA) to offer better guidance and assistance where possible.
"As we move forward we will partner with the key stakeholders such as the Small Business Association of Barbados and we will establish a strong foundation for your business growth," Ince announced.
Courts Microloans launch
The new Microloans initiative was also championed by Professor Justin Robinson, Head of Economics at the University of The West Indies Cave Hill, indicated that accessing this type of funding was extremely important to creating diversity in the financial services sector.
"Courts' foray into this area is one of the latest developments in the rise of micro-finance and further attempts to disrupt the financial sector. I see this as an important move in Barbados as we add some needed diversity to the financial system," Professor Robinson said.
Unicomer, Courts’ parent company is the leading retail group in Latin America and the Caribbean serving over two million customers in 25 countries with over 1,000 stores and 15,000 employees. They represent more than 30 retail brands across the regions, including among other Courts, Courts Ready Cash, Courts Optical, and Servitech, and in selected countries Ashley Furniture Homestore, and Radioshack.