From January 1, 2011, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation has made the corporate schemes accessible to applications from the Caribbean Netherlands.
It concerns the following schemes:
- Surety for SME loans (SSME)
- Growth facility;
- Guarantee corporate financing (GO).
- Guarantee corporate financing curative sector CO CURE.
- Innovation credits;
- Innovation performance contracts (IPC);
The implementation of the schemes is in the hands of rvo.nl. In addition, the Qredits Foundation also provides loans to entrepreneurs in the Caribbean Netherlands. Qredits is a non-profit foundation with support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, among others.
Surety for SME loans (SSME)
Entrepreneurs who want to do business on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba can use the SSME through their participating local bank. You can use the surety arrangement if you want to take out a loan, but the bank asks for more security than you can offer. Because the government guarantees a part of the loan, the bank is more willing to provide a loan. With the SSME, the government guarantees up to 1 million euros. The entrepreneur applies for the credit directly from the bank. The bank determines whether it will use the SSME guarantee facility. The entrepreneur can, if necessary, point out the existence of the instrument to the bank. The bank pays a one-off provision to NL Agency of 2.0% to 3.6% depending on the guarantee term. In practice, the bank usually passes this commission on to the entrepreneur.
Banks already participating in the Caribbean Netherlands are:
- MCB Bonaire
- Banco di Caribe
- The Windward Islands Bank Ltd
- RBC Royal Bank
The SSME scheme is intended for SMEs that have sufficient prospects for the future (are viable), in view of profitability, continuity and the expected cash flow, which must be sufficient to be able to meet future interest and repayment obligations to the bank, but nevertheless might not offer insufficient guarantees to the bank. The companies employ less than 250 FTEs.
Companies from the following sectors cannot participate in the SSME scheme:
- Healthcare (see GO CURE)
- Entrepreneurs for whom the government controls market entry, such as notaries and court bailiffs, veterinarians, and lawyers
- Banking, insurance or investment business
- Exploitation or development of real estate (insofar as not required for direct own business operations)
The borrower’s articles of association should not preclude making a profit.
Companies in the Caribbean Netherlands that are active in agriculture and horticulture, livestock or fish farming, fisheries or livestock farming and fish feed must first discuss this with NL Agency and their bank.
The credit is not intended to replace current obligations with the current bank. Obligations with another institution can be refinanced with a loan under the government-guarantee- scheme. The purpose of the credit is free, but it may not be used for investment. The term of the state guarantee is a maximum of 6 years, and financing for the renovation or purchase of real estate (buildings, ships, etc.) a maximum of 12 years. The term of the credit provided by the bank may actually be longer than the guarantee period (this will often be the case, particularly in the case of real estate financing).
You want to attract risk-bearing capital on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba. This will strengthen your financial basis and increase the possibilities for attracting loan capital. Financiers, however, are holding back. They often find the risks for entrepreneurs too great. That is why there is the Growth Facility scheme. You can contact your bank or private equity firm in the Caribbean Netherlands for this. At present, no local banks or private equity firms have joined the Growth Facility. More information
Guarantee Corporate Financing (GO)
You want to do business on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba, and you need credit for this. With the GO, the government guarantees up to 25 million euros. Because the government guarantees a part of the loan, the bank is more willing to provide a loan. You can inquire at your bank in the Caribbean Netherlands about the options for this financing instrument. More information
Guarantee Company Financing Curative Care (GO Cure)
A healthcare institution with building plans on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba needs credit. With the GO Cure, the government guarantees up to 25 million euros in credit to healthcare institutions. Because the government guarantees a part of the loan, the bank is more willing to provide a loan. You can inquire about the options for this financing instrument at your bank in the Caribbean Netherlands. More information
You have an innovative idea with an excellent market perspective. You have knowledge, vision and ambition, but you do not have sufficient financial power. Both starters and established companies in the Netherlands and on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba can benefit from the Innovation Credit. The credit is intended to finance promising innovative projects that will lead to new products within a few years. This may involve the technical development of a new product or the development of a drug for which a clinical trial is still required. The Innovation Credit has been part of the SME+ Innovation Fund since January 1, 2012. You can inquire at your bank in the Caribbean Netherlands about the options for this financing instrument
Innovation Performance Contract (IPC)
An Innovation Performance Contract (IPC) is aimed at SMEs that want to innovate together. Long-term innovation projects are carried out under the supervision of an interest group for companies (lead party). Collaboration and knowledge transfer are central. The IPC scheme also offers sector organisations financial support to examine partnerships. With the Exploration of cooperation, the secretary can make an inventory of the possibilities for collaboration for SMEs from different sectors. International branches can also collaborate with the Exploration of international cooperation.