SUNBIZ

COVID-19 Finance Support Package Inspires Expansion Plans For SMES

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced the three products, 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.
27 May 2020 13:00
COVID-19 Finance Support Package Inspires Expansion Plans For SMES
Organic Valley business owner Salim Buksh at his broiler contract shed at Sarava, Ba

Some small businesses are putting in place expansion plans in response to the Government’s announcement on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises COVID-19 Concessional Finance Support Package for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced the three products, 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.

The MSME COVID-19 Concessional Finance Support Package will commence on June 7.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement on Sunday at Level 10, Ro Lalabalavu House.

While some small businesses have yet to decide on applying for the funding, others have made a priority to apply when submissions open on June 7, 2020.

SunBiz spoke to some of these small businesses and filed this report.

Screenshot 2020-05-27 at 12.59.02 PMOrganic Valley

Organic Valley plans to diversify further into vegetable farming with the assistance from the MSME COVID-19 concessional finance support package.

Business owner Salim Buksh said after reading the article in the Fiji Sun, he made it a priority to plan and gather all the relevant requirements needed so that he would be ready when applications open on June 7.

”It is really good as I am looking to diversify to vegetable farming, I would still be able to sustain my business.

“This would be a timely assistance that I would need as I see that it offers a very low interest rate

“I am really pleased to hear about this assistance which would be very beneficial to my business,” he said.

For the poultry farmer, business was operating as usual however he foresees some reduction in the demand of chicken because of unemployment.

“It always on my mind that if there was some kind of assistance available to boost my business, I would apply,” he said.

Mr Buksh plans to apply for the product 3 – COVID-19 concession loan facility for existing medium sized enterprises.

This category offers maximum funding of $21,000 with concessional interest rate of 1.5 per cent per annum.

Based in Sarava, Ba, Organic Valley is the biggest broiler contract shed in Fiji and the only contract grower shed in Fiji equipped with a tunnel ventilation system.

Organic Valley is also a major supplier to Rooster Poultry.

Mr Buksh said if awarded the funding, he hopes to purchase machinery and farming tools for his vegetable farming.

He plans to plant tomatoes, cabbages, and cucumber.

Automan (Fiji)

One of Fiji’s leading repair work solution providers, Automan (Fiji) is looking to boost its operations by applying for the product 3 – COVID -19 concessional loan facility for existing medium sized enterprises.

This category provides maximum funding of $21,000 for working capital support and capital investment.

Business owner Hermant Sharma said since international travels were restricted, it has become expensive to import from Brisbane.

“This is difficult for me because of the high costs involved in freight charges so if I do get this funding, it will definitely boost my business because Kia Motors are used as Government vehicles.

“Sometimes clients ask me to get 200 pieces of car parts from Brisbane, but at the end of the day to get that number of car parts it would cost me $18,000 – $27,000. Times like this I still have other payments to do.

“If I had the funds, I would have made the payment straight away rather than waiting for the client to prepare the cheque,” he said.

He said if awarded the funding, he would set aside some money to purchase extra vehicles.

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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