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26 January, 2021, 8:57 pm Central - 25°C Rain

Government to set up an institution to give loans for small businesses

Government to set up an institution to give loans for small businesses

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 01/12/2020
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they are currently working on setting up an institution that would give loans to the small and medium enterprises and has also challenged the Fiji Institute of Accountants, Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation to set up an institution that will be assisting these small or medium businesses.

The Minister says that the Institute of Accountants could assist small business by providing them with accounting services such as doing their cash projections free of charge.

He says these services could be provided in exchange for points that would contribute towards the renewal of their practicing certificates.

Meanwhile, Association of Banks Chairman, Rakesh Ram says commercial banks are lending $300 million to small, medium enterprises which means their exposure to these enterprises is $300 million.

He says the segment which is suffering the most during COVID-19 is these small, medium enterprises which will also mean that this segment will have the highest level of doubtful or bad debts.

Ram adds that if they believe that 50% of these small, medium businesses will be able to remain viable, that also means that banks will have to write off about $150 million as doubtful debts.

Owner of The Merch, Watisoni Nata Junior has highlighted that small businesses are working together.

He adds that some challenges they are currently facing is the high cost of online banking and the cost of developing websites.

Meanwhile, Director, Weta Coffee, Mue Bentley Fisher is urging business to collaborate with smaller businesses and is also urging banks, government agencies and institutions to work together and share data to make doing business easier for them.

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