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A-G Announces SME COVID-19 Business Assistance Fiji Package

Good news, Government has announced a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises COVID-19 Concessional Finance Support Package for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) which will commence on June 7. The
25 May 2020 11:46
A-G Announces SME COVID-19 Business Assistance Fiji Package
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announces the MSME COVID-19 Concessional Finance Support Package at Level 10, Ro Lalabalavu House on May 24, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Good news, Government has announced a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises COVID-19 Concessional Finance Support Package for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) which will commence on June 7.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the timely announcement yesterday at Level 10, Ro Lalabalavu House in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our country.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum announced three products. That is the COVID-19 concessional loan facility for new and existing micro enterprises, COVID-19 concessional loan facility for existing small enterprises and COVID-19 concessional loan facility for existing medium sized enterprises.

Government has setup an ad hoc organisation Business Assistance Fiji, to look after this new initiative which includes assessing the applications.

The new organisation comprises of accredited members of the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA), Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Women in Business (WIB) and MSME Fiji.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they want all those people who want to start small and medium enterprises or existing SME businesses to be aware of this, so they can start making sure that they’re compliant.

“And when applications actually do open from the 7th of June, they can go ahead and fill out the forms and make the applications through the Business Assistance Fiji programme.

“Also those who may have currently become unemployed, but want to start their own business venture and not people who want to scam the system but genuine applicants, who have a particular skill set that they can turn into a business venture, we’d like them to prepare themselves for this too.

“And of course, we’ll be giving more details as to where all these forms will be available from.

“Logistically, to make it easy for people to, not travel long distances, but be able to get the forms, very quickly by the doorstep.”

He highlighted each product as per below:

PRODUCT 1 –COVID-19 concessional loan facility for new and existing micro enterprises

1. Eligibility – both new and existing micro enterprises with gross turnover less than $50,000.

2. Purpose — Funding available for working capital support, capital investment and new business venture.

3. Maximum funding eligibility — $7,000.

4. Interest rate — Concessional interest rate of 0.5 per cent per annum.

5. Repayment term — 5 years, inclusive of 1 year grace period (No principal and no interest).

6. Requirements – Business registration, Tax Identification Number, Bank Account Details, Business Plan, Cash flow projections and completed application form. Existing eligible businesses should be operational.

7. Assessment – All applications will be assessed by “Business Assistance Fiji”, which comprises of accredited members of the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA), Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Women in Business (WIB) and MSME Fiji.

8. Disbursement – Upon approval by the “Business Assistance Fiji”, Government will make direct disbursement in the bank account of approved entity.

PRODUCT 2 –COVID-19 concessional loan facility for existing small enterprises

1. Eligibility – Existing small enterprises with gross turnover between $50,000 to $300,000

2. Purpose — Funding available for working capital support and capital investment.

3. Maximum funding eligibility — $14,000.

4. Interest rate — Concessional interest rate of 1.0 per cent per annum.

5. Repayment term — 5 years, inclusive of 1 year grace period (No principal and no interest).

6. Requirements – Business registration, Tax Identification Number, Bank Account Details, Latest Financial Statements, Business Plan, Cash flow projections, FNPF compliant as at December 2019, FRCS compliant as at December 2018 and completed application form. Eligible businesses should be operational with at least 60 percent of employees relative to December 2019.

7. Assessment – All applications will be assessed by “Business Assistance Fiji”, which comprises of accredited members of the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA), Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Women in Business (WIB) and MSME Fiji.

8. Disbursement – Upon approval by the “Business Assistance Fiji”, Government will make direct disbursement in the bank account of approved entity.

PRODUCT 3 –COVID-19 concessional loan facility for existing medium sized enterprises

1. Eligibility –existing medium sized enterprises with gross turnover between $300,000 to $1,250,000

2. Purpose — Funding available for working capital support and capital investment.

3. Maximum funding eligibility — $21,000.

4. Interest rate — Concessional interest rate of 1.5 per cent per annum.

5. Repayment term — 5 years, inclusive of 1 year grace period (No principal and no interest).

6. Requirements – Business registration, Tax Identification Number, Bank Account Details, Latest Financial Statements, Business Plan, Cash flow projections, FNPF compliant as at December 2019, FRCS compliant as at December 2018 and completed application form.

Eligible businesses should be operational with at least 60 percent of employees relative to December 2019.

7. Assessment – All applications will be assessed by “Business Assistance Fiji”, which comprises of accredited members of the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA), Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Women in Business (WIB) and MSME Fiji.

8. Disbursement – Upon approval by the “Business Assistance Fiji”, Government will make direct disbursement in the bank account of approved entity.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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