Govt Initiative Hailed


The Fijian Government’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) concessional loans have been widely acknowledged especially by Fijians who have benefitted from the scheme.

With up to $15million worth of loans disbursed so far, the initiative aims towards aspiring entrepreneurs – including those who may have been laid off, but have particular skills to start their own business.

The concessional loans also gives the recipients working capital needs that will assist them with their business.

For Ranjeeta Sharma, the loan has been a dream come true as the idea of losing her business and closing down shop begun haunting her since COVID-19 reached our shores a few months ago.

“Most of our income comes from tourism, COVID-19 has had a bad impact on our industry so we almost went bankrupt because we are depending on the tourist dollar,” Ms Sharma said.

While seeing businesses like hers that depend on tourism collapse, she counts herself lucky to be injected with a $7000 capital to revive her business.

“These MSME concessional loans have been very helpful to me like buying my stocks and paying my rent here at the Nadi handicraft centre. It is very timely and today I want to thank the Fijian Government for its assistance”.

Fellow handicraft centre vendor Tokasa Ravonu also received $7000 to assist her business during these hard times. “At the moment I have noticed that there are only three items that are selling out fast in the market, that is the ‘masi’, mats and the traditional Fijian fan (iri ni Daku). Those are the three main items I will invest in using this loan.”

The Minister for Commerce Trade Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya during his visit in Nadi met with the recipients at the Nadi handicraft centre to see how the loans have assisted them.

Mrs Ravonu thanked Minister Koya and the Fijian Government for having faith in small businesses in the tourism sector.

“We really found hardship during this first five months because our customers are mainly tourists. Today we have to change our products and things that we are selling to suit the local market.”