These dancers and stilt walkers created quite a stir on Broad Street on Friday. (Picture by Sandy Pitt.)
Republic Bank is offering a financial boost to businesses and artistes for the Crop Over Festival with a new loan facility.
This was revealed by its new marketing manager, Sophia Allsopp-Cambridge, following the Republic Bank Grand Kadooment Launch, which involved a mini street parade from its Broad Street branch to Independence Square, The City, on Thursday.
“Over the last several years, we’ve had an increasing number of people asking specifically for loans to support entities that are ancillary to the Crop Over Festival. We have a wide range of entrepreneurs who are utilising the festival as a revenue-generation stream – the make-up artistes, food vendors. We have a number of people who are utilising this period as the major revenue generation opportunity,” she said.
The manager noted that customers had been asking for a loan product specifically tailored to Crop Over, so they decided to offer a minimum of $5 000 with a maximum of two years’ repayment.
“Based on the model that has already been established at our sister company in Trinidad and Tobago where Carnival loans are exceedingly popular, we decided that we would go after the millennials,” said Allsopp-Cambridge, adding that the bank also wanted to find out whether there was a genuine interest by a wide range of people in Crop Over loans.
The initiative was also in response to the National Cultural Foundation’s call for greater participation in Crop Over and greater stimulation of the creative economy.
Meanwhile, Republic Bank’s general manager, retail banking, Sharon Zephirin, said it was the bank’s way of supporting Crop Over.
“We realise that support comes in many forms and fashion, with the greater support from the masses . . . . We want this to go for about a year in the first instance, but we have catered to those who want to stretch it to a two-year period,” she said, adding that the loan was not restricted to the bank’s customers.
The Barbados Workers’ Union Co-operative Credit Union has also offered a $5 000 summer splash loan which included travel, Crop Over costumes and season tickets.
CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank offered a similar loan last year. (RA)