Knesset Seeks More State Guaranteed Loans for Small Busineses

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee is asking the Finance Ministry to increase state guarantees to funds for assisting small and mid-sized businesses, to allow more businesses to benefit from the loans.

The funds provide state guarantees of 70% on loans taken by the approved businesses, with 25% shouldered by the companies themselves and the remaining 5% guaranteed by banks.

The loans are made available through Bank Hapoalim, Mercantile Bank and Bank Otsar Hahayal.

The committee's chairman MK Ofir Akonis (Likud) also called on the Finance Ministry's accountant general Shuki Oren to reassess the criteria for loan approval and speed up the processing time. Akonis said that the committee will meet next month to follow up on the issue, in which the treasury will be asked to present data on the funds' performance.