COVID financial relief for Fijian businesses extended to 2022

Suva city business district during a lockdown in May this year. All businesses and workplaces need to focus on improving ventilation and air quality to support their current COVID-safe measures, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. Picture: FILE

The COVID-19 financial relief assistance for businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic has been extended to March 31, 2022.

Association of Banks in Fiji (ABIF) chairman Rakesh Ram said their continued support for those businesses were being conducted on a case-by-case basis.

He said the association continued to work closely with the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) that had been supportive of the financial assistance provided to many businesses by all the banks.

“There is a high level of optimism for the economy to turn the corner by the end of this year,” Mr Ram said in a statement issued this afternoon.

“This is indeed, the most welcoming news.

“The opening of the borders within Viti Levu, followed by herd immunisation from more than 70 per cent of the targeted population now fully vaccinated coupled with high hopes of international borders opening sooner than expected are positive developments.”

However, Mr Ram said the banks recognised that many businesses still required financial support as full recovery would be over a longer period before they returned to pre-COVID trading levels.

“ABIF also acknowledges that many customers have reverted to pre-COVID loan repayment arrangements or are at least meeting interest costs to contain debt levels.

“However, those customers that require further relief support, depending on their financial circumstances should contact their Relationship or Branch Managers to discuss and agree on their projected financial needs.”

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