Providing Assistance for Micro/Small Businesses Entering Strategic Areas of Growth
Supporting Overseas Expansion
The Micro Unit provides both information and funding support for micro/small businesses seeking to capture growth potential outside of Japan, particularly in Asia.
In April 2012, Overseas Expansion Support Desks were set up in 152 branches nationwide to provide detailed consultation services. In addition, through cooperation with specialist organizations such as JETRO, the desks offer information that meets the individual needs of customers who are considering expanding their business overseas.
As a result, the number of loans provided through the Loans for Overseas Investment program totaled 462 in FY2012. A notable feature of the loans is that approximately 50% were provided to wholesalers and retailers.
Supporting Revitalization in City Centers and Shopping Districts
The Micro Unit supports parties working to revitalize city centers and shopping districts by providing loans under programs including the business vitality strengthening fund and the Loans for Modernization of Grocery Retailers, and information to such as local governments.
Supporting Business Reconstruction and Succession
Through the business reconstruction & business succession support fund, the Micro Unit supports parties undergoing corporate reorganization through involvement of the Small and Medium Size Business Rehabilitation Support Co-operative, approval of reconstruction plans based on the Civil Rehabilitation Act, or collaboration with commercial financial institutions, and business succession.
With business support managers at 152 branches nationwide, the Micro Unit flexibly responds to requests to have their repayment terms relaxed by temporarily extending principal repayment due dates or reducing monthly payment amounts. In FY2012, the Unit took steps to ease the payment terms of approximately 66,000 business loans to reflect the intent of the Act concerning Temporary Measures to Facilitate Financing for Small and Medium Sized Enterprizes.
Supporting Businesses Challenging Innovative New Technologies
In March 2013, Capital Loans (Provision Scheme for Challenge Support and Capital Enhancement) was established to support businesses such as those conducting research using innovative new technologies.
As of May 31, 2013, the program had provided loans to 13 companies. The Micro Unit is working to support businesses which possess high technological capabilities and require significant funding for expenses such as development costs.
Supporting Social Business
The Micro Unit supports "social businesses (NPOs, etc.)" (Note) which are engaged in solving community issues and which create stable and ongoing employment.
Note: The term "social business" means an organization which promotes continuous activity utilizing business techniques in order to solve social or community issues, such as parenting support, medical, welfare or nursing problems, or environmental problems (extract from Selection of 55 Social Businesses, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)).
Supporting the Nursing Care and Welfare Sectors (Note)
Based on the government's New Growth Strategy, the Micro Unit supports Japan's nursing care and welfare sectors, where strong growth and employment are expected as society ages.
Note: Refers to social insurance, social welfare and nursing care businesses.
Supporting Use of Local Resources and Collaboration among Agriculture, Commerce and Industry
The Micro Unit supports regional revitalization through a program that provides loans to businesses approved for a Regional Industrial Resource Utilization Business Plan or an Agriculture, Commerce and Industry Collaboration Plan.