Friday, June 24, 2016

LASCO Financial launches iCool loan for micro entrepreneurs


With booming sales from its sister company’s iCool products, LASCO Financial Services Ltd. (LFSL) has launched the iCool Vendor Barrel Loan for micro-business customers to purchase the drinks for resale.

“We were very flexible when we designed this loan product. Our clients will be able to apply for loans for up to $50,000. They can opt to take the cash; take that amount as a combination of funds and LASCO products including iCool; or the product equivalent of the value of the loan amount they choose,” explained Nicolene Donaldson, LFSL Marketing Manager.

LASCO Financial Services Loans Officer Shoyagay Edwards (right) presents Ms. Karlene Pennant of Salkey Way, Duhaney Park with a cheque for $50,000 as a part of the iCool Vendor Barrel Loan on Wednesday, May 25 at LASCO Financial Services offices on Red Hills Road.
The clients who take up LFSL offer will have as much as 26 weeks to repay the loan. Karlene Pennant of Salkey Way in Duhaney Park was the first to take up the offer from LFSL in May. Pennant, who initially only sold pastries at her stall in Kingston noted that addition of the LASCO products will help to bolster her sales.

“It’s definitely going to increase sales and volumes,” she said, sharing plans to use iCool and other LASCO products to complement the products she sells.

“I’m looking at pricing for a muffin, and an iCool for example,” Pennant said. “I am even interested in making LASCO iCool slushies to sell with other pastries. I can also expand to the LASCO Ice Dream.”

LFSL said the introduction of the loan product was prompted by its desire to have a unique offering that would stimulate further growth for micro entrepreneurs and create greater value for LFSL loan customers.

In the meantime, Pennant is in talks with LFSL to see how best she can introduce other products using the company’s loans.

The micro entrepreneur also said the branded iCool barrel has been adding credibility to her business since she rolled out the LASCO products.

“Because the LASCO iCool is so popular and is a strong household name, many persons have noticed that I have the drinks and have come to purchase my goods,” she said.

LFSL is also banking on the popularity of the iCool drink and the LASCO brand to increase loan disbursements.

“We expect a high take-up due to the high demand for the LASCO iCool product, this gives vendors/shopkeepers and restaurant owners the perfect opportunity to come on board and be a part of the LASCO dream,” said Donaldson, LFSL Marketing Manager.

Small business owners with established locations operating for over six months can benefit, Donaldson explained. She said the loan product is also geared towards vendors, who have an appetite to grow their business, expand their offerings and need an injection of funds.

In addition to any funds that will be disbursed under the loan, the iCool Vendor Loan package provides a barrel, branded apron, cap and a T-shirt.

Interested clients can visit the LFSL Business loan locations in Linstead, Half-Way-Tree, Papine, downtown Kingston and Red Hills Road. They should be between the ages of 18 and 65; present a completed loan application form; meet small business loan requirements as well as general loan requirements; have a business location and present a passport-sized photograph a recommendation letter; and a Food Handler’s Permit.

Last September LFSL launched the micro-financing business loans arm to assist small entrepreneurs. It was accredited by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and was approved for a credit line of $100 million when lending to micro and small businesses.

Through the DBJ loans facility, LFSL lends up to $500,000 to business owners once they meet the necessary loan requirements. Indeed, this new offering is a part of the company’s mission to pursue expansionary activities in its existing as well as new business lines for growth.

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