Financial help soon come

| 11/11/2008

(CNS): As emergency relief continued to flow into Cayman Brac the critical issue of finance also began to be addressed following the announcement by the Cayman Islands Development Bank (CIDB) of the Hurricane Relief Programme (HRP). The bank is, among other things, offering a $50,000 secured credit line for all small businesses and $25,000 secured credit line for farmers in the Sister Islands as well as a moratorium on interest and principal repayments for all existing customers’ loans.

The HRP will provide immediate financial relief to affected residents and business owners on the Sister Islands. Effective immediately there is a moratorium on interest and principal repayments for all existing customers’ loans on the Sister Islands for a period of 6 months.  Secondly, there is a 2% interest rate reduction on all new loans granted to customers in the Sister Islands.  Thirdly, relief is available in the form of $50,000 secured operating credit line for small businesses and $25,000 secured credit line for farmers in the Sister Islands. The CIDB will have a dedicated HRP coordinator in place on Cayman Brac shortly.  Any small business owner can apply for this line of credit or overdraft facility and they do not have to be existing customers of the bank.

A key element in the recovery process is the speed at which relief is delivered to affected areas. “Relief, in all its forms, including financing, is necessary in the immediate aftermath of a disaster,” said Ralph Lewis, CIDB General Manager. “A great challenge facing consumers is the availability of disposable income during these disastrous times when the need to purchase supplies is a priority.  We have established a customer base in the Sister Islands and remain committed to providing financial assistance especially in this crisis.

Vanessa Godfrey-Banks, CIDB’s Chairperson explained that part of the CIDB mission is to assist in the development of the Cayman Islands’ economy. Providing assistance to the Sister Islands in this time of dire need speaks directly to our reason for being. It is therefore essential for CIDB to lead this important initiative during this critical time in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,she added.

For more information on this programme and to make an appointment to meet with Ralph Lewis and other CIDB representatives in Cayman Brac on Thursday, 13 November, please contact the Disaster Coordinator, Rhonda Conolly at 814 6262 or Mr. Lewis at 814-6269.

The Minister of Commerce Charles Clifford, who toured Cayman Brac early Sunday afternoon compared the devastation to that suffered by Grand Cayman in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. “Given our prior experience we fully appreciate what it takes to recover from such heavy losses.  We will make every tangible source of support available to the people of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to aid in their recovery. While the CIDB is doing all it can, we fully expect that commercial banks will consider similar action to aid in the recovery of our Sister Islands.” 

The Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund also said it is planning assistance to those on the Sister Islands who were adversely affected. The Chair of the Trustees, H.E. the Governor, Stuart Jack was also on hand to witness the devastation first hand over the weekend with the Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts .  Dr. Mark Laskin. Executive Director of the Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund said that while government will do everything in its power to assist the Sister Islands, there is also a complementary, supporting role for the private and voluntary sector. “The Fund will be co-ordinating very closely with the Cayman Islands Government to ensure that specific housing needs are coordinated and met.  The number one priority of the Fund will be to get residents back into dry homes (roofs and windows) before the focus can turn to rebuilds.

 Laskin said the Fund will concentrate on the elderly, the infirm and those families with young children. “Aid will be givenfirst to those who are uninsured or are from low income families.  The Fund does not make direct grants to householders, but rather directly funds qualified contractors based on estimates,” Laskin added.

Relief accounts have been established with Butterfield Bank (CI$ Account number: 02201/036345/00 or US$ Account number: 01201/036345/01) and Cayman National Bank (CI$ Account number: 011-11578 or US$ Account number: 021-06309).  The Fund is asking that persons on Grand Cayman donate directly into these accounts. Any monetary donation would be greatly appreciated.  For further information please contact mlaskin1@aol.com

Further financial assistance could also come from a regional iinsurnce policy which the Financial Secretary’s office is now looking into. Having signed up to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, a collective policy designed to help regional nations cope with the aftermath of major catastrophes early lastyear, the Cayman Islands Government should be able to draw on that policy to help finance rebuilding projects across the Brac. If Cayman can make a claim and for how much is calculated through the details of the storm and its impact on the island. The CCRIF claim is triggered by a category 2 storm and above and Cayman could received payment within 14 days of a successful claim.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I would recommend to people not to take up the offer of a "moratorium" on bank loan repayments as these have to be paid eventually and when this moratorium comes to an end, say in six months’ time, the mortgagors still have to find CI$12,000.00 if their regular monthly mortgage payment was CI$2,000.00.

    It sounds like a very generous offer but in my experience I have found that it is better for folks to continue with their normal payments as this is not really a gift.  It sounds like one but in reality the shock comes at the end of the six months and folks still owe a huge amount of money.

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

     wow – dont remember this being offered in Grand Cayman after Ivan?