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Fire-ravaged businesses continue to struggle

January 15, 2021 9:33 am

Thirteen small businesses ravaged by a fire at the Flea Market in Suva last year are struggling to prepare their children for school.

These emerging entrepreneurs have found space at the Devos On The Park building, most of them have taken loans from the government which has allowed them to re-open their business.

A mother of two, Urmila Wati says she can no longer get by with selling from her stall and has to go out into communities.

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Wati says she does this on the weekends because sales from the stall are not enough to cater for all her family expenses.

“We are managing to sell some products door to door because the turaga ni koro sometimes doesn’t allow us to go in. We normally go down to Nausori villages, we go to Tailevu villages and the first is the Navua villages we went to. “

Jimaima Masiova who has six children attending school says she relies on their help during the school break to minimize spending.

Another stall owner, Luisa Matatolu says she has been saving up since last year to get her children back to school.

“Despite the circumstance we faced, the hurricane that we passed, and the COVID that we are still going through a pandemic, we managed to save a bit, at least to send our kids to school.”

Matatolu says their biggest platform in attracting old and new customers is social media but that in itself has not been easy given many customers do not know of their new location.

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