$18.3m in grants

Ba residents await their turn to get a number for the HOMES-CARE assistance at Ba market grounds yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

GOVERNMENT has distributed $18.3 million to small and micro entrepreneurs around the country over the past three years. While speaking at the second round of the Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) disbursement in Ba on Wednesday, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Land and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya said 19,548 businesses had been assisted.

“Today’s (Wednesday’s) event will witness the awarding of grants to 1039 successful recipients from Ba, Tavua and Vatukoula,” he said.

He said while Government would continue to assist Fijians who wanted to start their own businesses, the grant from the ministry was not a handout.

“The MSBG has achieved an outstanding 80.3 per cent success rate which is an exceptional performance that surpasses international benchmarks for success in SME development.

“This means that Fijians that are supported by this initiative are enterprising and are thinking of their future and that of their families. “As stated numerous times, the grant is intended to assist each and every one of you to realise your dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.”

Residents from Ba, Tavua and Lautoka were given $1000 grants by the ministry.