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SB Corp. plans loan program for small food firms in FMCG supply chain

PHILSTAR

SMALL BUSINESS Corp. (SB Corp.) said it plans to launch a financing program for food suppliers seeking partnerships with large fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in a bid to support food security and accessibility.

The Sustaining Trade and Access to Primary Food and Link Enterprises (STAPLES) loan product is aimed at micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the food supply chain, the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry said in a statement Thursday.

SB Corp. said the program is geared for an August launch and should help such businesses retain or rehire employees.

“We invite large food manufacturers to work together with SB Corp. in implementing this new program and help foster the restart, strengthening, and growth of the MSMEs in the food supply chain,” SB Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Ma. Luna E. Cacanando said.

Through the program, MSMEs participating the supply, production, distribution, and retailing chain of large FMCG food companies can replenish their working capital or fund other business needs, SB Corp. said.

The accredited FMCG partner will sign an agreement with SB Corp. to market the program to their distribution channels and share information to MSMEs in their supply chain.

FMCG accredited partners must be large FMCG food companies with a nationwide network of at least 20 distributors and 100,000 sari-sari stores, along with P5 billion in annual sales.

“We envision our MSMEs to be free from the burden of scurrying for affordable, easy-to-access loans for the sustenance of their livelihoods. The STAPLES program will allow them to access much-needed funds and keep the retail food businesses running through the help of our accredited FMCG partners,” Ms. Cacanando said.

SB Corp., which operates the loan program to help small businesses recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has so far approved around 32,600 loan applications worth P4.98 billion under the program. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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