Kumar: 15,069 small business licenses issued in first three months

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar. Picture: FT FILE

There were a total 15,069 small business licences issued from January to March this year, Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar told Parliament early this week.

This is compared to 14,121 business licences issued over the same period in 2019.

Mrs Kumar said that illustrated an increase of 948 business licences issued and showed that new business licencing reforms had received a warm reception among Fijian businessmen and businesswomen.

“There is also a significant increase in the number of new businesses registered in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Municipal Councils have been receiving extremely positive feedback from the communities and business people on the changes in the business licencing, and we hope that we will continue to build on this momentum when word of mouth spreads,” she said.

Mrs Kumar said small businesses that had less than three employees were reaping the benefits, with business houses now paying 50 per cent less in business licence fees for renewing their businesses and new businesses are exempt from paying any fee at all.

She said reforming business licensing was a starting point for improving the investment climate. “We have already seen real results from these reforms, with more business licences issued in the first three months of 2020 than over the same period last year.”

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