Seylan Bank has observed that COVID-19 has landed a heavy blow on Sri Lankan small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with wide spread adverse effects across multiple sectors and regions. The bank understood the challenges in reopening the country, and the necessity for designing appropriate policies, to support SMEs address these issues and navigate through these tough times.
As a part of the program of reviving the SME sector, Seylan Bank will work alongside the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to offer a comprehensive range of business development services through a dedicated hotline at the CCC Centre for SMEs. The centre will act as an intermediary unit to assist new start-ups, and existing SME customers of the bank to connect with the CCC centre for SMEs to resolve any issues pertaining to their business and obtain consultation from experts. With the Bank coming on board, the centre will be able to increase its outreach of business development services and facilitate an active dialogue on constraints, challenges, and operational issues faced by SMEs.
“SMEs contribute to almost half of Sri Lanka’s economy and provide employment to millions of people. These businesses are an important part of our ecosystem, and it is imperative that we help them grow and remain resilient,” said Ramesh Jayasekara, Chief Operating Officer, Seylan Bank. “Our partnership with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will allow us to offer a comprehensive range of business development services to our SME customers. We strive to ensure our customers’ financial well-being, while working towards upholding the productivity of our nation.”
The CCC Centre for SMEs will conduct seminars, webinars, workshops, and training programs, in addition to providing business advisory services and business counselling. These webinars are designed to uplift and encourage SMEs, and to help them consider the most relevant/ appropriate methods of revising their business structures, to maximize profits post-pandemic. In addition, consultants from Seylan Bank will also host coaching sessions to stimulate new business ideas, and enhance customer knowledge via the partnership.
Taking into consideration the present situation within the country, the chamber has facilitated online consultation facilities, omitting the need to commute to the centre for services. The Bank has also taken steps to support the SME sector by providing debt moratoriums in accordance with the Central Bank. The Bank will also offer SMEs working capital loans at low interest rates for business expansion and growth, in a bid to aid business owners affected by the present economic situation.
Seylan Bank continues to support customers across the island, with an array of convenient banking services during these unprecedented times of limited mobility and social distancing. The Bank pledges to continue to fast-track its digital innovation efforts with uninterrupted banking and financial services to support the national efforts currently in place. The bank remains fully committed to providing a service that goes beyond conventional banking. All 172 branches, 215 ATM Units, and the 24/7 Customer Support Center are in operation to provide uninterrupted services to all customers, while adhering to all safety measures put in place by the authorities.