Addu City Council declared Sunday that the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) will issue loans up to MVR 80 million for small and medium businesses to develop guesthouses in the southernmost atoll.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Ministry of Tourism, the council's Mayor Abdulla Sodiq noted that land plots are being leased from six islands in Addu for tourism purposes.
Stating that discussions were held regarding the opportunities available for small and medium enterprises (SME) in expanding Addu tourism, he asserted that such businesses would not be marginalised in favour of larger corporations.
According to Sodiq, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail assured that loans for guesthouse development in Addu will be provided for SMEs via SDFC.
"At the time, he said MVR 80 million, and that he would look into further possibilities. And so there will be opportunities for Addu-based SMEs as well", said the mayor.
The government established SDFC last March in order to facilitate loans for SMEs. While the bank provides between MVR 200,000 to MVR 500,000 per business, SDFC issued loans totalling over MVR 1 billion within the first four months of service.