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16% interest rate “ridiculous” for businesses to borrow from commercial banks – GCCI

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Tuesday said its planned Business Development Forum would be geared to helping small businesses find other sources of financing.

Senior Vice President of the GCCI, Timothy Tucker says that’s because interest rates at commercial banks are very steep compared to crowd-funding, boot-strapping and equity.

“Apart from electricity costs in manufacturing, is financing a business? At 16 percent interest rate on a commercial loan, it’s ridiculous for us to be competitive in any sense of the word ‘competitive’ and that’s the banking sector. That lies primarily on how much it costs to borrow.

“We do not blame anybody for that but we just say it’s uncompetitive for us to take 16 percent and try to develop a business,” he said.

The Business Development Forum is being co-supported by the Inter-American Development Bank, Ansa McAl and the Ministry of Business.

At the event, which will be held at the Pegasus Hotel from September 27 to 28, participants will also be taught to use various online tools to market their businesses on social media.

Participants are expected to benefit from knowledge-sharing in areas of marketing, branding, market targeting and market size as well as search engine optimization. “Over 70 percent of businesses fail because of bad branding,” said Gary Thompson of the Chamber.