Island News

Facing challenges

Written By : MARAEA WAQALEVU. Running a business in a small town like Korovou has been extremely difficult over the past few years for Ana Chung and her family, but
26 Jul 2008 12:00

image Written By : MARAEA WAQALEVU. Running a business in a small town like Korovou has been extremely difficult over the past few years for Ana Chung and her family, but it wasn’t always the case for the once vibrant business.
Mrs Chung tells the Fiji Sun about how she and her family have managed to keep the business together for the past few years and also tried to make ends meet in a small rural town like Korovou.
57-year-old Mrs Chung and her family own the Paul Chung Enterprise and have been operating the shop at the end of Korovou town since 1974.
She said all was well with her family business before the coup of 2000 and at that time according to her the overall businesses in Korovou was booming.
“The business ran so well before the coup of 2000 and that was not only for my shop but for all the businesses in Korovou.
“And not a day goes by did I worry about not making ends meet at the end of every week because for every day the business was good.
“But my family began to face problems straight after that and nowadays, it would be good to earn a good amount during the week,” Mrs Chung said.
She has been running the family shop with her son since her husband passed away in 1997 and though she misses her husband very much, life must go on for the strong willed woman.
“No one can ever replace my husband, he was my pillar of strength and life without him was very hard to fathom in the beginning, but with the support of my children, I have been able to take each day as it comes,” she said.
Mrs Chung said it’s easy for her to keep in touch with her children because they live around the area with two of them teaching in the nearby schools.
“I have a son teaching at Tailevu North High School and a daughter teaching at Korovou Primary School and of course my son Tony helps me here at the shop.
“Basically, I have everyone that I love around me and though business may not be booming, at least I have my loved ones around me each day to make my day,” said Mrs Chung.
Her shop is one of the oldest buildings in Korovou Town and that alone is memorable for her and the family.
“The shop or should I say the building hasn’t been owned by us alone. There were other previous owners before we took over the business, but suffice to say, the shop is still standing and the building it houses is still intact as ever,” she said.
She said the shop has regular customers, but there are also a number of competitors in the area and with the financial problems faced by the country, she has to fight hard to stay on top.
“Every shop owner has their own way of service delivery and I guess, it’s the way we are with customers that brings them back to our shop every now and then.
“The prices on our goods can also be a determining factor in bringing in customers and also pushing them out.
“But we have to compare and contrast the prices we put on our goods with the other shops and come up with the best solution to get our goods bought.
But for the soft spoken lady, even having customers walk in just to have a quick chat makes her day.
“We’re right here at the end of town and I hardly know what is happening in the middle of town unless and until, I have a customer walk in and update me about what’s happening.
“And to be honest, that usually puts a bright smile on my face,” Mrs Chung said. Mrs Chung said the family and the shop has withstood a number of coups, numerous floods that have wreaked havoc in Korovou town, but the will to be a service provider for the people of Korovou would never fade.
“We live by the motto ‘Never say die’ and though we have been faced with so many hardships while running the business, we have vowed to carry on.
“Though the economic forecast for the country doesn’t look so well right now and we continue to struggle with our earnings for the week and also to make ends meet, we’ll continue to serve our people here until we can’t do it anymore,” said Mrs Chung..

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