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Yasa impact on businesses estimated at $25m

July 8, 2021 12:45 pm

The financial impact on more than 1,500 businesses hardest hit by Tropical Cyclone Yasa, has been estimated at $25 million.

This was revealed in Fiji TC Yasa Business Survey that says only a fraction of these businesses were insured against the disaster.

The survey by the Ministry of Commerce and Trade together with the International Finance Corporation shows while 92 percent of the 1, 554 businesses surveyed were affected by the cyclone last December, only one percent had cyclone insurance.

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Permanent Secretary for Trade, Shaheen Ali says the recovery of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and support for women entrepreneurs are critical to the Fijian economy.

Ali adds studies such as this strengthen government’s ability to provide more targeted responses – whether fiscal or technical.

Of the businesses surveyed, 86 percent were deemed to be micro-businesses, all of which had turnovers not exceeding $50,000 per year.

The overwhelming majority were based in the Northern Division.

Prior to TC Yasa, 80 percent of the businesses surveyed were saving profits or growing.

After the cyclone and during the survey period, 29 percent were hibernating or had permanently closed, and only 47 percent were fully functioning.

The Survey also recommend, that businesses, whether informal or formal, should receive advisory support and training on recovery strategies and building resilience.

The survey was conducted with support from the Australian and New Zealand governments.

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