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LatinNews Daily - 21 April 2021

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In brief: Ecuador announces new credit scheme for SMEs

* Ecuador’s economy and production, foreign trade, investment & fishing ministries have announced a new credit line (‘Resurgimos Ecuador’) for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which will be provided by both private banks and government agencies. SMEs with sales totalling up to US$5m will be eligible for loans of up to US$500,000 to aid their recovery from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic or for the payment of their financial obligations (although businesses that were already in debt prior to the pandemic will not be eligible). The loans will be repayable after 48 months, with the possibility of a six-month grace period, and there will be a "reduction in maximum interest rates" of "25% less for the business sector, 30% less for SMEs and 30% less for micro-loans." The pre-existing credit programme (‘Reactívate Ecuador’) will remain in place until it has loaned US$115m – as of 13 April it had disbursed US$99m.