KAMPALA – The Ugandan economy is emerging from the devastating effects of COVID-19 which ravaged different sectors causing some businesses to halt operations and others to permanently close. According to the 2021 report from Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), 54% of businesses closed operations for quite some time during the pandemic and 50% of businesses recorded a decline in sales. Some of the businesses have since closed operations permanently.
Following the recent reopening of the economy, PostBank Uganda has launched, its Small Business Recovery Fund, to support the small and medium enterprises that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to bounce back.
Doreen Rutazaana, Head of Business and Institutional Banking at PostBank, said that “PostBank will dispense up to UGX. 100 million to small businesses at a fixed interest rate of 10% per annum. This loan can be accessed from any of our 49 branches countrywide.”
She added that, “We are committed to transforming lives and livelihoods by availing affordable and sustainable financial services.”
Customers will also enjoy flexible repayment periods of up to 4 years. A one-year grace period will also be given to customers – depending on the nature of business. This is to reduce the loan burden.
All businesses that have been in existence for at least 2 years before the pandemic and employing 5-49 persons with an annual turnover of between UGX. 10 million to UGX. 100 million, are eligible. They must also have a demonstrated potential for recovery.
An applicant of the Small Business Recovery Fund must be a resident within the area branch of operation, have an account with PostBank, possess a financial card, and have proof of collateral such as registered & unregistered land, chattel items & personal guarantors to receive the funds.
PostBank Uganda (PBU) is a public company limited by shares and formed under the Public Enterprises Reform and Divestiture Statute of 1983 and the Uganda Communications Act, 1997. It was incorporated under the Companies Act in 1998 and is owned by the Government of Uganda with 100% shareholding.
In December 2021, PostBank acquired a Tier One license from the Bank of Uganda to operate as a fully-fledged commercial bank.
PostBank Uganda has since grown to boast of 49 branches countrywide, stretching from Yumbe to Kabale, from Kotido to Masaka, and over 400 Post Agents.