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ComBank extends support to Northern SMEs

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has lent nearly Rs 250 million to small businessmen and farmers in the northern region in the past four months, as part of a multifaceted on-going engagement in the economic and social resurgence of the area.

Combining the extension of banking services, capacity and knowledge building, promotion of digital banking and supporting community needs, Bank' officials had a hands-on direct engagement with a large number of entrepreneurs in the peninsula and the northern mainland.

The Bank participated in a SME development program organised by the Central Bank at the Divisional Secretariat of Mannar, to create awareness among small-scale entrepreneurs about the banking facilities available and to build a bridge between banks and entrepreneurs in need of financial assistance to expand business. Commercial Bank officials interviewed and selected 10 potential entrepreneurs from among the participants and invited them to visit the Mannar branch to explore possible support for their business ideas.

The majority of the participants were women engaged in the dry fish and garment business, a Bank official said.

Loans granted over the past four months to entrepreneurs in the Northern region included large agricultural loans amounting to Rs 206 million, Rs 33.7 million as short term agriculture loans principally to paddy farmers and micro loans amounting to Rs 3.6 million.

"Our activities in the north showcase the Commercial Bank's commitment to partner and empower people and communities to improve their economic status and capacity," said the Bank's Managing Director Jegan Durairatnam.

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