Industry Promotion Division Commerce and Industry Desk, Industry Construction Division, Mizuho Town
The Town has the "Mizuho Town SME Promotion Funds Mediation Scheme" as part of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is a scheme aiming to vitalize businesses in the Town. We interviewed Kazutoshi Yamauchi, Desk Chief, and Yasushi Iwata of the Desk.
The Town accommodates 1,594 businesses (2006 Business and Enterprise Census), of which manufacturers count 493 companies, or about 31%. Many manufacturers have accumulated thanks to newly prepared industrial-only and industrial zones through the Seibu land readjustment project. The 2008 industrial statistics show the Town ranked at the 5th in the value of manufactured goods shipped in the Tama region.
However, as large part of the Town’s businesses is SMEs, we implemented the "Mizuho Town SME Promotion Funds Mediation Scheme".
The scheme encourages local financial institutions to lend working capitals, equipment funds or start-up capitals to SMEs with Mizuho Chamber of Commerce working as a bridge. Since the launch in fiscal 1984, many companies have used this scheme.
In fiscal 2008, 21 companies and others used the scheme and so far in fiscal 2009, 83 applications have been filed.
The reason for applications to jump 3.6 times in FY09 is that upper limits of loans and payback periods were revised markedly. In the case of working capitals, for example, the limit was raised from \3 million to \10 million and the period extended from 3 years to 7 years. The Town subsidizes half the interest rate of 1.6% for fiscal 2010.
We are also working hard on activities to acknowledge this scheme to as many companies as possible.
The unfortunate fact is many SMEs suffer from tight cash flows as their operation bases are fragile and hence vulnerable to economic fluctuations compared to large-scale companies. In fact, in the midst of the global recession triggered by the sub-prime mortgage loan problem a year and a half ago, voices have been increasingly heard from local financial institutions and the member of the Chamber that they want higher loan limits of the "Mizuho Town SME promotion funds mediation scheme". Responding to the voice, the revision of the scheme was made for better accessibilities.
We have been delighted when user companies say “we were rescued by the financial aids,” and at the same time we feel stronger desire to support much more SMEs.
The Town is planning to proactively attract companies towards the future and now studying incentive schemes and the likes.
The Town has great advantages for companies, namely manufacturers, to run businesses as it offers much less expensive lands than in central Tokyo and also convenient accesses with Route 16 crossing from north to south connecting to the Keihin Industrial Zone and 2 major roads - the Shinome-kaido and the Ome-kaido - running from east to west. It is less than 1 hour driving away from central Tokyo and, with a completion of the Metropolitan Inter‐City Expressway (Kenou-do), trade areas could extend to the Tohoku region.
Also, an easy place to live is among attractions of the town which, despite an industrially accumulated area, is blessed with nature such as Sayama hills and lush green. We are hoping to establish effective incentive schemes to attract many companies.
Address: 2335 Ooaza-Hakonegasaki, Mizuho-machi, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo 190-1292
Phone: +81-42-557-0501 (representative)