SMALL BUSINESSES interested in zero-interest loans to help them make their 13th month payroll may start applying on Nov. 2, the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.) said.

SB Corp. Spokesman Robert Bastillo said in a Laging Handa briefing Thursday that micro and small businesses have the Nov. 2-Dec. 7 period to accomplish their applications online.

“The loan is open to micro and small businesses that have 20 employees or below,” Mr. Bastillo said, adding that the loans are payable in 12 months.

According to Mr. Bastillo, eligible businesses will include those on the Labor department’s list of companies that availed of flexible work arrangements during the pandemic.

He added that the Labor department’s database currently contains 11,000 micro and small businesses.

Mr. Bastillo said not all of the 11,000 businesses have headcounts of 20 persons and below.

“If the interested businesses are included in the Labor department’s list, they only need to present their barangay business permit or mayor’s permit,” Mr. Bastillo said.

He said P500 million has been allotted for the loan facility, with the processing time for each application estimated at seven to 10 days.  

“We have a standard amount of P12,000 per employee. It is up to the company to apportion the amount because the Labor department has advised that the actual work hours/days should be the basis for computing 13th month pay,” Mr. Bastillo said.  

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has said that the loan size will be between P50,000 and P200,000.

“We see no reason to defer the 13th month pay for this year as the government stands ready to support businesses,” Mr. Lopez said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave