$92k assistance for MSMEs

BAF general manager Ramesh Chand says their objective is to develop MSME businesses by providing advisory services. Picture: JONA KONATACI

About $92,000 of assistance has been offered to local MSMEs by Business Assistance Fiji (BAF) over the past six months by way of subsidising business expenses made through their network of service providers.

“Officially the office was opened in June, so we’re only about six months old but in these six months we have achieved a lot,” said BAF general manager Ramesh Chand.

“The objective is to develop MSME businesses by providing advisory services,” he added.

“We continue to build our network of service providers in various areas like accounting and financial management service providers, marketing and digital transformation, strategic planning, organisational planning, standards, law, coaching and training, so we build a network of service providers and have them readily available on the platform.

“And at the same time we also use the Business Link Pacific diagnostic tool to conduct diagnoses of the businesses free of charge.

“So for instance, if you’ve got a business, we conduct the diagnosis of your business, we give you a report identifying areas where your business needs improvement, and then we link you up with the service providers that we have got in our network.

“And on top of that, what we do is we also subsidise part of the service fee.”

BAF was recently visited by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications Manoa Kamikamica who was pleased to hear of BAF having aided more than 200 businesses and diagnosed about 80 in the six months since its launch.

Under the subsidy scheme for helping businesses get their financials in order, BAF has assisted 125 MSMEs. BAF services can be accessed through their office in Suva or via phone, email, or their website.

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