Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis building at the corner of Church and Central Streets in Basseterre.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance with responsibility for the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, reported Tuesday at his monthly press conference held at the Ocean Terrace Inn’s conference room that the government-owned bank will be offering relief to persons affected economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under our leadership, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis will facilitate a loan repayment moratorium for six months’ period and the waiver of all applicable late fees and charges to support their customers who are impacted by the loss of income due to COVID-19,” said the Prime Minister as he announced government’s 17-point fiscal and economic stimulus package.

The nearly $120 million economic stimulus package  represents the largest assistance package announced by any government in the region to date.

“The economic fallout from the pandemic is expected to be severe in the critical sectors of tourism and manufacturing, with our job creators that is our employees and small to medium businesses in particular being the worst affected by reduced income,” noted Dr Harris. “We feel for our workers, we feel for our taxi operators, and the wider group of hotel workers. Indeed, we feel the pain of everyone whose life has been dramatically altered by the dangerous pandemic.”

Further relief will come in the form of additional funds, $5 million the government will invest in the popular Fresh Start Programme which is administered by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis. These fresh funds will be used to assist the poor and marginalised youths by providing access to capital to fund small and medium sized business projects.

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis will also provide funding through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis for mortgage loans to the citizens in the amount of $30 million, the Prime Minister added, saying the first portion of this amount has already been made available.