Brac Bank, the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and Bangladesh Centre of Excellence (BCE) have signed a tripartite agreement for setting up an SME Helpdesk for CCCI Members.
The SME Helpdesk is powered by the experts from Brac Bank, a pioneer SME financing Bank of the country. This Helpdesk will ensure access to finance and information to the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) of Greater Chittagong, a press release said.
The virtual signing ceremony took place on August 20, on a digital platform. A dedicated helpdesk for the CMSMEs was also inaugurated at the event.
Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and Chairman of Trustee Board, Bangladesh Center of Excellence (BCE) and Syed Abdul Momen, head of SME of Brac Bank Limited were chief guests at the partnership disclosure ceremony.
The helpdesk will especially benefit the CMSMEs, those based in the greater Chattogram region, to recover from the negative business impacts caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic by providing them all kind of information on how to get access to SME Financing, especially from the stimulus packages announced by Honorable Prime Minister.
CMSMEs, especially the members of CCCI, can call the helpdesk for relevant information regarding access to finance. The helpdesk will also provide information and support to help the CMSME members on how to avail various lending opportunities, documentation requirements, information on government stimulus packages as well as guidance for better financial management.
Mahbubul Alam, president of CCCI said: "What hinders the growth of CMSMEs, especially when the government declared rigorous stimulus packages in their favor, is the lack of proper knowledge and support regarding compliance, documentation requirements and other minimal formalities. I would like to thank Brac Bank, our SME expert, for coming forward and joining hands with the Bangladesh Centre of Excellence to take up this initiative".
Syed Abdul Momen, Head of SME Banking of Brac Bank said, "We have always remained positive, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, to support the CMSMEs that include more than 13 million business entities in Bangladesh. We are pleased to be a partner of launching this helpdesk that will also help us better understand the business community's requirements and accordingly devise our strategies".
CCCI will share details of the helpdesk to its member CMSMEs soon. The CMSME customers can also call Brac Bank's 24/7 call centre 16221 and get the necessary knowledge and support information.
"We have provided explicit training to our helpdesk colleagues so that they can assist the callers with any of their queries like our call centre does. I would like to thank CCCI for this noble initiative and I am sure this will be replicated across the country to better serve the CMSMEs together", Momen added.
Syed M. Tanvir, Director, CCCI and Trustee, BCE, Engr. Mohd Farque, Secretary in-Charge, CCCI, and Wasfi Tamim, CEO, BEC were also present at the event.