The viability of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) is still under review and until that review is completed, no additional resources will be put into its coffers. This is according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, who outlined the reason for the almost two-year long suspension of LEN’s business loans operation at his recent outreach to the mining town.
In January 2021, Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, said that LEN was being reviewed to ensure its sustainability. More than a year after, the government is announcing that the review is still underway since a lot of money was placed into the financial institution but it has not yet become self-sufficient. Vice President Jagdeo said that the government will have dialogue with those who would have borrowed money but were unable to repay because of financial constraints, so that an amicable solution can be reached between the two parties.
Following the announcement, members of the business community in Linden expressed their disappointment with the decision to not restart loans for small businesses given the current economic situation and the financial strain the pandemic placed on businesses. VP Jagdeo however reassured the business community that LEN will not be eliminated. “We have to fix it to make it useful, anything that is not useful will go out the window,” he said.
Since August 2020, LEN’s lending account has been frozen and residents of Region 10 have not been able to access business loans. Since its recommissioning in 2015, LEN has received at least three subventions from the previous administration. This however should have not been the case since the fund was expected to revolve. Since recommissioning, LEN issued over 600 loans for the expansion or start up of businesses. It also constructed low income homes and executed several projects in the area of agriculture, construction and hospitality.