SMALL businesses looking to restart their operations during the pandemic may still apply for interest-free, collateral-free government loans by creating an account at

With just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, small business owners can type in their pertinent details and upload scanned identity and business documents on the website, which is maintained by the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

SBCorp is the program implementer of the Bayanihan CARES (Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises), which makes P8.08 billion available for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, hospitals, tourism businesses, and repatriated or displaced overseas Filipino workers affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the program, qualified loan applicants can apply for loans ranging from P10 thousand up to P5 million, depending on their pre-pandemic sales and business assets figures, if applicable.

These loans are payable up to a maximum of four years, inclusive of a maximum grace period of 12 months for non-tourism MSMEs, or a maximum grace period of 24 months for tourism MSMEs accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) or registered as Barangay Micro Business Enterprises. Successful loan applicants will only need to pay a one-time service fee, set at a maximum of eight percent for a four-year loan term. Lower service fees apply to shorter loan terms.

To date, SBCorp has approved 31,700 MSME loan applications. These correspond to a total loan amount of P4.84 billion.

“SBCorp operates on the principle that we should not duplicate what the mainstream players in MSME finance are already doing,” president and chief executive officer Ma. Luna Cacanando said. “We do not compete with what is already working in the market. What we need to do is fill in the gaps for small businesses that banks and lending companies do not yet find attractive to finance relative to their profit objectives and cost management thresholds. We develop and operate our financing programs for MSMEs along these lines.” (PR)