Financial Assistance

The Government of Seychelles has announced its support for businesses during these unprecedented times that we are in, through the following measures:

 

Loan Support

 

The Central Bank of Seychelles [CBS] has introduced a Moratorium on loan repayments for a period of up to 3 months for individuals and up to 6 months for businesses, on interest and/or capital repayments.

 

The moratorium is not automatic – Individuals and businesses are encouraged to approach their respective commercial bank, Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) or Seychelles Credit Union (SCU) to identify whether they are eligible for the moratorium and seek guidance on the required documentation that will need to be submitted for application purposes, should they be eligible.

 

Individuals and businesses wishing to extend their moratorium period will need to contact their respective bank, DBS or SCU for an assessment of their requirements and financial position, where assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

 

Read more on the Moratorium and Debt Restructuring Measures 

[Source: Central Bank of Seychelles, CBS].

 

Credit Line Facility

The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) has made available two credit line facilities for a total value of SCR 1,250 million to assist private sector businesses impacted by COVID-19 under two respective schemes, as follows:

 

 

Find out more here.

[Source: Central Bank of Seychelles, CBS]

 

Interest Rates for Agriculture and Fisheries

 

Interest rates under the Agriculture Development Fund and Fisheries Development Fund have been reduced to 1%. Businesses and individuals should contact the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) for more information.

Small Business Support Fund

 

The Small Business Support Fund (SBSF) was set up to assist businesses registered in Seychelles in getting finance to help them survive the economic difficulties that have risen due to COVID-19.

 

Key Features

 

  • Maximum loan amount of SCR 100,000
  • The government guarantees 100% of the loan, no security needed
  • Interest-free with a 12-month moratorium
  • Maximum repayment period of 3 years, exclusive of the 12-month moratorium for the principal amount of the loan taken.

 

Loan Eligibility

 

The following criteria is used to determine loan eligibility:

 

  • 100% Seychellois ownership
  • Trading or commercial activity
  • Annual Turnover of SCR 2 million or less on average, each year for the past two years
  • Established before 1 March 2020
  • In operation, profitable and neither in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar
  • Adversely affected by COVID-19

 

Find out more about the Small Business Support Fund.

 

Apply online through the portal. 

Financial Assistance for Job Retention

 

The Financial Assistance for Job Retention (FA4JR) scheme is primarily intended to assist private businesses and non-governmental organizations that already submit a monthly payroll to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), regardless of how many employees they have. 

 

Latest Updates

 

  • Since August 2020 onwards, wages of Seychellois employees who were employed in April and remain employed by the same business are receiving financial assistance. All businesses who were assisted in July will continue to be eligible under the FA4JR scheme, subject to the provisions and procedures declared by the Committee.However, businesses that have amendments in payroll will need to submit the details via the online portal on a monthly basis, from September 2020. 
  • New recruitment and salary increases (compared to the April payroll) will not be considered for financial assistance.
  • Self-employed individuals who are being assisted by FA4JR are automatically registered with the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (SETS)
  • Entities that have not applied, or were unsuccessful in their applications between April and July can re-apply.
  • Below is a list of business categories that rely on tourism. These businesses who have previously applied for financial assistance but have not been eligible, solely due to having sufficient funds, are now being assisted (as of July onwards):
  • Hotels/self-caterings/guest houses
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation (taxi, car hire, bicycle operators, omnibus operators that do not have a contract with the Government)
  • Tour guides/operators
  • Yachts/boat charters/operators
  • Destination Management Companies
  • Diving centres/operators
  • Artisans/boutiques at tourism establishments
  • Spas at tourism establishments
  • Airlines
  • Other related tourism activities which are wholly reliant on tourism

 

Businesses are reminded to settle all outstanding taxes with SRC before submitting their application.

 

How do I apply for Financial Assistance?

 

Only online applications made through the dedicated online portal will be accepted. Businesses that have amendments in payroll will need to submit the updated details via this portal monthly, from September to December 2020.

Any businesses that need assistance in completing the applications on the online portal can:

 

  • Call the 190 hotline
  • Book an appointment at the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning at Liberty House.
  • Visit the SETS office on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue

 

The eligibility for, or the extent of assistance will be determined by the FA4JR Committee following the review of your application and all documentation you have submitted.

 

Assessment Criteria

 

The following criteria apply when assessing applications until December 2020:

 

  • Registered and/or licensed entity
  • Lodged business tax returns in 2017 or more recently
  • Been in operation/existence before March 2020
  • Demonstrate that the inability to cover wages is a result of COVID-19
  • Entities must be able to show that January to February 2020 turnover was at least 90% of January to February 2019 – based on activity in bank statements
  • Entities must be able to show a drop of more than 60% in turnover over the March to June 2020 period compared to the amounts banked from March to June 2019.
  • Demonstrate tangibly that their drop in activity stems from the economic conditions in the country post-March 2020.

 

Visit the online portal to complete the necessary forms

 

For more information:

 

  • Call 190 during working hours
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

[Updated 4th September 2020.]

[Source: Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning]

Public Utilities

 

Following Government’s decision to maintain the electricity tariff for the public sector, the commercial sector will also benefit from a reduction of more than 25 cents per unit on their electricity tariffs.

Rent Collection

 

The Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning has announced that it will waive the collection of July 2020 rentals for tourism-related businesses operating on Government property.

 

In view of reduced operations as well, with the opening of the country to commercial flights, the rental of August to December 2020, Government will provide a reduction in rent from 50% to 75%, depending on the type of businesses.

 

The government entities collecting rentals from businesses are Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA), the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF) and the Industrial Estates Authority (IEA). The respective Boards of these Government entities will determine eligibility.

 

Find out more

[Source: Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning]

Redundancies

 

As per the Employment (Amendment) Act, 2020, businesses are able to apply for redundancy, subject to the following:

 

  • The business has stopped operating completely or partly
  • The operation of the business is suspended entirely or partly
  • The business is reorganizing itself so that it is more streamlined
  • As a result of new technology, the business needs less workers

 

Section 2 - 51A and 81A refer to the provisions and modalities on redundancy.

[Source: Ministry of Employment, Immigration & Civil Status]

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