Hope for business

Marica Sute runs the Matanakilagi Centre which has about 28 women. Picture: ABISHEK CHAND

Marica Sute has managed to jump back from the devastating impact of COVID-19 which has resulted in the closure of her business last year.

According to the Matanakilagi Centre chief the South Pacific Business Development was a huge help for the members to be able to survive during the past two years.

“We started way back in 14 January 2011, with only 10 members, now we got 28 members.

“Right now we have a variety of businesses, some ladies they do baking, some they like to make food packs and sell those.

“I got a small canteen at home, way back in 2019 I had opened one hair salon and one café at World Harvest but I had to close it last year because of this pandemic.”

She said because of the dining restrictions customers dwindled and were not showing up so she found it better to run her business from home and save up instead of paying the rent.

“But now I have to restart again.”

She said all of them at the centre were able to survive and continue with their businesses because of the loan from SPBD.

For Ms Sute the easy process of getting a loan through SPBD was encouraging.

“We have to go through the training first and they give us the loan.

“So it’s very interesting because all the women get together and we see our differences.” She said if someone was going through any hardship they would get together to help out.

“I think SPBD is very helpful because it is now extending the help, even with the education of our children, the improvement of your house. “Before some of the ladies they did not have any bank books or bank account.

“They just stayed home and did the cooking or washing and the husbands went to work but now I think all of these women have got savings.”

Ms Sute said she had managed to save up to $10,000 and with that money she was able to carry out renovations at her home.

“I have placed tiles in my house, I had renovated my house have placed tiles from wall to wall.

“Now I had saved up a little bit and I am extending my house again.

“I extended my porch with a master bedroom which I am thinking to put it up for rent.”

She said this was to be an additional income which she would earn through SPBD with the little saving that she was doing. Ms Sute encouraged women to trust and believe in themselves. She added they shouldn’t get scared.

“You have to trust yourself and believe in what you do and go forward.

“You don’t have to be rich to be able to save, the poor people should save.

“I chose SPBD because it financed my business and they do take care of you.”

She said the centre managers would come to collect the loan payments etc, which made work much easier for them.

Ms Sute wants to start her own canteen and run it from her own house. At the moment she sells clothes from her home.

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