The CNMI State Small Business Credit Initiative is “picking up steam and rolling.” The program has now crossed over 20 percent commitment of the initial disbursement from U.S. Treasury toward eight loans in the CNMI. Those eight loans represent over $1.5 million in total loan amounts, with an average of $196,000 per loan. Seven of the loans are from Saipan businesses and one of the loans was for a Rota-based business.
The eight loans represent just over $700,000 of SSBCI commitment. This number is 20 percent of the goal to reach 80 percent commitment of the initial disbursement. Even though the program has increased enrolled loans, it still anticipates committing another $2.7 million of SSBCI funds by June 2015 to be eligible for the remaining allocated SSBCI funds from U.S. Treasury.
To assist in reaching the 80-percent commitment goal, the CNMI was recently approved by U.S. Treasury for a program modification. More specifically, Michigan Economic Development Corp. as the third party underwriter will no longer be a required to enroll loans in the program. This modification provides a much more streamlined process for speeding up loan commitments. The participating banks and borrowers will benefit from the modification by allowing the Commonwealth Development Authority to manage the entire process from receiving the banks’ intake form to disbursement. The loan review process, which includes program eligibility and reviewing the banks underwriting, will now take place internally at CDA.
CDA will only be reviewing the application; ultimate approval will come from the Independent Loan Review Committee.
“Gov. [Eloy S.] Inos had advised that he wanted the federal funds to be deployed expeditiously to support the private sector to further boost the economy. We have worked closely with CDA’s executive director [Manuel] Sablan and the Department of Finance’s Secretary [Larrisa] Larson to implement these streamlining measures. I appreciate all the efforts put in for this purpose. I encourage entrepreneurs, existing business owners, and others to take advantage of this program. Talk to your bank about the SSBCI program,” said acting Commerce secretary Mark O. Rabauliman.
With the recent program modification, the CNMI SSBCI Program is picking up steam and fully positioned to support additional commercial loans. For questions regarding program implementation, contact Oscar Camacho, Loan Manager with CDA at 670-234-6245 Ext. 308, or visit our website, www.DevelopCNMI.com. For a complete list of requirements, contact the Commonwealth Development Authority. (CDA)