Feature

Seafood Seller Gets $3K Loan

She is one of more than 4000 micro, small and medium enterprise owners who have been assisted with a loan by the Government.
22 Oct 2020 09:23
Seafood Seller Gets $3K Loan
Small business Government loan recipients, market vendor Luisa Veraivalu 57 at her sea food stall in Suva Market on October 21, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Rejection can be a discouragement for most. But for 57-year-old, Luisa Vereivalu persistence is the key to success.

She is one of more than 4000 micro, small and medium enterprise owners who have been assisted with a loan by the Government.

For years Ms Vereivalu has submitted grant applications seeking assistance for her small seafood business based at the Suva Municipal Market.

And for years her application has been rejected until this year when she was given a $3000 loan.

“I am grateful to the Government for approving my application. The assistance has gone a long way to boost my business,” Ms Vereivalu said.

With the money, she bought supplies for her business like cartons of coconut milk, containers and plastic bags for her seafood.

On a weekly basis, she directly assists five different families who supply her with nama (sea grapes) kaikosi (shellfish) and cassava.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she used to earn more than $600 a week however, this year, sales have dropped and she now earns close to $200 a week.

“We were badly affected when the lockdown happened. I was outside of the lockdown area so I tried selling juice and roti parcels to earn money for my family,” she said.

“Due to the pandemic my son is now unemployed and so I support my family of seven with the income I earn from selling seafood.”

She is encouraging Fijians who are thinking of starting their own businesses to explore the options available to them in terms of grant and loan assistance.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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