Small businesses are a central part of the Arab economy in Israel. Over 65% of Arab families make their living through the small business sector. The COVID-19 crisis has caused many businesses to freeze or limit operations and currently many are in credit distress. The different government and banking aid packages did not meet their needs, while other social finance programs do not target the Arab sector.
Lack of credit can force businesses to cease operation, pushing their owners into unemployment and their families to depend on welfare. Information received from the field suggest this credit shortage has already sent many to the gray market, a move that endangers them and their families.
With the debilitating impact COVID-19 restrictions on the small & micro business sector, KIEDF has expanded our activities and created a new non-bank loan fund for Arab-Israeli owned small businesses. The Israeli Ministry of Economy is committed to providing a 50% match for all operation and loan fund costs.
The new fund will provide 200-250 non-bank loans of up to ₪100,000/$30,000 to Bedouin, Druze and Arab small business owners, in its first year of operation, providing 15Million NIS in credit.
Clients are being identified by our staff or referred by other organizations active among the target population. As part of the loan application, our staff is working with applicants on their business plan and their business development needs while assisting them in planning for the future.