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The Fiji government has announced new initiatives, to assist those in the small, medium and micro-enterprise sectors
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the assistance will be provided through concessional loans particularly for the SME’s.
Sayed-Khaiyum said these are people who already have a business but are struggling due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
He said they will be providing assistance to businesses in three categories.
“The loan will have a one year grace period payable within the next 4 years. In the first year of the grace period, there won’t be any principal no interest applicable to be paid.”
Sayed-Khaiyum said the government has come up with a new scheme on how the applications will be assessed.
“These applications will be assessed by an organization that has been set up that is going to be called the Business Assistance Fiji. It compromises of accredited members of Fiji Institute of Accountant, Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Women in Business and the MSME group that exists within the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport.”
The Economy Minister said they want Fijians to utilise their skills.
“For example, someone who may be working in the garment factory and no longer has a job, he or she may be very good at tailoring and they may be able to utilise their skill sets so what do we do to set them up as a business. So these people will be eligible for the $7,000 (US$3,500) concessional loan at a concessional rate at 0.5 percent interest rate.”
The small enterprises will also receive concessional loans on one percent interest rate and the medium-sized enterprises will receive the loan on the interest rate of 1.5 percent.
Individuals will be able to make applications from 07 June and the initiative will assist them with cash flow to sustain their businesses.
The Economy Minister has also announced initiatives for the women entrepreneurs in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
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