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FAQs – DBJ SERVE

FAQs

What is the SERVE Jamaica Programme?

The Government of Jamaica, through the Development Bank of Jamaica, has established the Social Economic Recovery with Vaccination (SERVE) Programme using a line of credit approach through participating financial institutions. The programme will be available up to March 2022 and is geared at:

  • Increasing the adoption of cutting – edge technology among MSMEs in Jamaica to facilitate increased sales, business productivity and efficiency and reducing operational costs.
  • Improving access to affordable and convenient loan financing

This programme features three new products:

  • DBJ GO-DIGITAL voucher whereby businesses can access 100% up to a maximum of J$300k for digital transformation services
  • DBJ MSME GO-Digital Loan which offers sub-borrowers up to J$800,000 at 2% over 3 years to access digital transformation software and hardware
  • DBJ MSME Recovery Loan whereby businesses can access up to J$10m at 5% over 8 years

What does SERVE stand for?

Social Economic Recovery with Vaccination Programme (SERVE)

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation refers to the adoption of technology to transform manual products and service delivery processes to digital and using online ecommerce and digital payment solutions via mobile or other electronic devices.

Digital transformation includes the use of:

  • Cloud infrastructure, cyber security
  • Digital productivity tools (video conferencing, e signatures)
  • Business applications (QuickBooks, payroll, business intelligence)
  • Digital channels
  • Online banking
  • Digital training/education (learning management solutions)

What is the GO-DIGITAL Voucher?

The DBJ Go-Digital Voucher is a grant valued at $300,000 inclusive of GCT to micro and small businesses with revenues not exceeding $75M annually.

What are some of the services accessible under this Voucher?

Services include:

  • General Business Services (accounting & electronic payroll system, HR applications, customer relations management (CRM) software, electronic marketing including social media, website development, ecommerce platforms and payment gateways
  • Business Productivity Tools (video conferencing and electronic records management)

What services are excluded from this grant?

This grant cannot be used to acquire hardware or for working capital support, the purchase of equipment and payment for business operational expenses.

How do I access this voucher/grant?

Online at www.dbjserve.com (micro and small enterprises must be a registered business in Jamaica). An account must be created before an MSE can apply. Approvals will be sent via email within 7 days.

The services may then be accessed through DBJ’s accredited Information Technology Business Development Organizations (IT BDOs).

What is the maximum amount obtainable under this grant?

The maximum amount obtainable is 100% up to the maximum of J$300,000

How often can I access a GO-DIGITAL Voucher?

The Go-Digital Voucher may only be accessed once.

Who qualifies for a GO-Digital Voucher?

This voucher/grant is only accessible by Micro and Small businesses.

What is referred to as Micro and Small Enterprises?

Businesses with revenues not exceeding J$75M annually.

Can I access a GO-Digital Voucher and another grant under the Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA)?

Yes. Businesses can access a GO-Digital Voucher as well as another grant under DBJ’s existing VTA programme.

What are the applicable fees to access the Go-Digital Voucher?

This grant pays 100% up to a maximum of J$300,000 inclusive of GCT for digital transformation services. Where the cost of the service exceeds this amount the micro or small business is required to pay the difference. There are no processing/administrative fees required to access this voucher.

Do I need to take a loan to access the Go-Digital Voucher?

No

How are the digital transformation needs of a business determined?

It is recommended that businesses consult with one of the  IT-BDO listed on the site or perform a self-assessment quiz also accessible on this site to determine the best digital intervention needed for the business.

What if my business digital transformation needs exceeds the value for GO-Digital Voucher?

Once agreed by your preferred GO-Digital service provider, the micro or small business may do on of the following three actions:

  • Pay the difference
  • Apply for DBJ’s GO-Digital loan
  • Seek the balance from their preferred financial institutions

 

Do I need a TCC to access the GO-Digital Voucher?

No

What is the interest rate to access the GO-Digital Voucher?

The GO-Digital Voucher is a grant, not a loan. No repayment is required.

What is the DBJ MSME GO-Digital Loan?

The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, has provided J$1B through the DBJ’s MSME GO-Digital Loan to boost the adoption of cutting-edge technology among MSMEs in Jamaica.

Who qualifies for DBJ’s MSME GO-Digital Loan Programme?

All sectors with revenues not exceeding J$425M will be able to access a loan through participating institutions.

What are some of the services accessible under the MSME GO-Digital Loan?

Services include:

  • Acquisition of laptops, smartphones, portable POS machines, e-commerce and digital payment solutions.
  • Acquisition and training in software including cloud infrastructure, cyber security, digital productivity tools and business applications such as accounting software, HR & payroll system

What is the difference between DBJ’s MSME GO-Digital Loan and the GO-Digital Voucher?

The GO-Digital Voucher limits businesses to DBJ’s accredited IT BDOs whereas the MSME GO-Digital loan allows businesses to procure the service of any supplier of their choice once supported by invoices acceptable to their financial institution.

What are the terms of the MSME GO-Digital Loan?

The features of the programme are:

  • A loan limit per sub-borrower of J$800,000
  • A maximum interest rate of 2% per annum (fixed on reducing balance)
  • Repayment over a period of up to 3 years
  • Maximum grace period on the principal of 3 months may be facilitated where the project plan justifies it
  • DBJ will fund up to 90% of the project cost with the MSME providing 10% contribution

Are all sectors included?

Yes

Does the offer have an expiration date?

Yes. The offer expires March 2022.

How can I access the DBJ’s MSME GO-Digital Loan?

This programme is accessible through our participating financial institutions.

What are the applicable fees for this programme?

All commitment, processing and administrative fees/charges are at the discretion of the financial institution.

Will clients who access this loan still be able to access the partial guarantee and Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) programme?

Yes

What if I need more than J$800,000 to digitally transform my business?

Once agreed by the MSME’s GO-Digital service provider, the MSME may do one of the following:

  • Pay the difference
  • Apply for another DBJ loan
  • Seek the balance from their preferred financial institution

Is the MSME GO-Digital Loan now available?

Yes. Up until March 2022.

Are there any special concessions in place to facilitate accessing the MSME GO-Digital Loan?

Yes.

  • A TCC may be submitted 90 days after the approval of the loan application
  • Business Registration documentation is now a pre-disbursement condition and not a pre-approval requirement
  • Under the Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) programme, MSMEs may access 100% up to J$250,000 for business plans and financial statements

Do I need a TCC to access the MSME Go-Digital loan?

Yes. However, it may be submitted up to 90 days after the approval of the loan application.

What is the DBJ’s MSME Recovery Loan?

The Government of Jamaica has provided an additional J$2B through the DBJ’s MSME Recovery Loan which serves to enable lenders to reduce the debt service burden for MSMEs with viable projects that are either seeking to expand, pivot or refinance high-cost debts.

Who can access this DBJ’s MSME Recovery Loan?

All sectors with revenues not exceeding J$425 million p.a. will be able to access the loan through participating financial institutions.

What are some of the uses for funds allotted under DBJ MSME Recovery Loan?

Funds may be used:

  • Working capital support
  • New capital expenditure projects
  • Debt consolidation
  • Refinancing of high interest rate business loans
  • Business overdrafts
  • Business credit cards

Purchase of real estate for use by the business

What are the terms of the DBJ MSME Recovery Loan?

The terms include:

  • Loan limit per sub-borrower of J$10M
  • Maximum interest rate to the MSME of 5% per annum (fixed on the reducing balance)
  • Repayable over a period not exceeding 8 years

The DBJ is also willing to facilitate a maximum grace period on principal of up to 12 months. DBJ will fund up to 90% of the project cost however the MSME must provide 10% contribution.

 

Are all sectors included?

Yes

Does this offer have an expiration date?

Yes. The offer expires March 2022.

How can I access the DBJ’s MSME Recovery Loan?

This programme is accessible through our participating financial institutions.

What are the applicable fees for the DBJ’s MSME Recovery Loan?

All commitment, processing and administrative fees/charges are at the discretion of the financial institution.

Will clients who access the DBJ’s MSME Recovery loan still be able to access the partial guarantee and Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) programme?

Yes

What if I need more than J$10,000,000 to assist my business to recover from the pandemic?

Once agreed by your preferred financial institution and the J$11.1M has been exhausted from all three offerings under the SERVE Jamaica programme, then MSMEs may either apply for another DBJ loan or seek the balance from their Financial Institution.

Is the MSME Recovery Loan now available?

Yes. Up to March 2022.

Are there any special concessions in place to facilitate accessing the MSME Recovery Loan?

  • A TCC may be submitted 90 days after the approval of the loan application
  • Business Registration documentation is now a pre-disbursement condition and not a pre-approval requirement
  • Under the Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) programme, MSMEs may access 100% up to J$250,000 for business plans and financial statements

Do I need a TCC to access the DBJ MSME Recovery Loan?

Yes. However, it may be submitted up to 90 days after the approval of the loan application.

Can I access all three products?

Yes. MSMEs can access all three products once they are eligible.

Can a customer with a poor track record access these loans?

The SERVE Jamaica is designed to assist struggling MSMEs with potential to improve with financial assistance. Each project will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and is subject to the Financial Institutions discretion.

Can I refinance a DBJ loan?

The DBJ MSME Recovery loan cannot be used to refinance existing DBJ loan facilities.

What is the Credit Enhancement Facility (CEF)?

The CEF, the DBJ’s partial guarantee programme, provides collateral assistance to MSMEs. Generally, it allows partial guarantee coverage of 80% of the loan up to J$30 million.