25 February, 2021, 7:45 pm
MORE than 50 per cent of the South Pacific Business Development members in the Northern Division had reported damage to their houses with 78 per cent suffering a loss in their main livelihood.
This was according to the SPBD Fiji board director Lorraine Seeto during the launch of the SPBD Tropical Cyclone Yasa Rehab Programme on Friday last week.
She said SPBD had processed 112 loans totalling $401,050 for 20 centres in the Northern Division.
It had also processed 59 loans for 10 centres in Savusavu which totalled to $217,400 and 53 loans for 10 centres for Labasa which totalled to $183,650.
Ms Seeto added the SPBD Fiji Yasa Response Strategy would focus on two areas which is the grace period and the rehab financing. “All mildly impacted members may receive a grace period on the repayment of the principal and interest on their existing loans. “The standard grace period is from January 4, 2021 to February 13, 2021 – a total of six weeks.”
She said all loans which were given a grace period would resume their normal payment schedules on Monday February 15, 2021.
“This means that the maturity date for the loan will be extended by six weeks from the original maturity date.
“The process of granting the grace period — this will be done by the Centre with all the members signing at TC Grace Period Agreement Form.
“There will be a token service fee of 2.5 per cent charged to cover administrative and documentation costs.
“SPBD members who avail themselves to this facility will not receive any demerits in their credit scoring for payments not made or meetings missed during the grace period.” The rehab financing was where the SPBD members could also apply for TC Yasa Rehabilitation Loan which could be used for house or business rehabilitation or a combination of both according to Ms Seeto. “We will ensure that our SPBD member is not overwhelmed by the number of loans she is paying.
“So all her outstanding loans related to COVID-19, that is the Restructured and Business Recovery Loan will be consolidated with the TC Yasa Rehabilitation Loan,” she said.
The loan amount was said to fall between the ranges of $1000 to $2500, as according to Ms Seeto all outstanding loans related to COVID-19 would be consolidated with the TC Yasa Rehab Loan as the total amount rounded would be to the nearest multiple of $50.
There would also be charges for using this facility and repayment would commence two weeks after loan disbursement with certain conditions being applied.
Ms Seeto said there was a need to act swiftly which was why the program was being implemented in February. “SPBD is using mainly its internal sources of funds,” she said.
“This can be back-filled by posting on the Kiva website for crowd funding.”