Close to 200 businesses affected by the fire at the Savalalo Market are extremely grateful.
Yesterday, the business owners were the recipients of $350 each courtesy of the Samoa Offering Hope (S.O.H) Charitable Trust.
The money came from $70,645 raised by the Trust within 30 days allocated for all donations to be collected.
The Chairperson of the Trust, Adele Kruse, said 194 registered vendors received money yesterday.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, officially closed the fundraising and thanked everyone who supported the programme.
“If you recall, we had just return from the celebrations of the Festive season when the flea market was guttered and destroyd by fire on the eve of Saturday 16th of January,” he said.
“The government through efficient actions had quickly ensured that this area was cleaned and tented for the small businesses to begin trading again whilst government looks at other means of establishing a better alternative.
“It was important that the flea market be restored swiftly to enabled a progressive economic and social recovery programmes to benefit the affected small business community.
“I am very grateful to the professional individuals of Kruse, Betham and the banks who serve on the Samoa Offering Hope Trust, our very own home grown charity organization to offer help to victims of disasters that affect our own people.
“And that I thank them for the diligent work that has to date collected a contribution of $70,000tala in cash and more in kind.”
Ms. Kruse said S.O.H collected more than cash.
“We also have gifts in kind from Bluesky and S.B.E.C.
“The total value for Bluesky’s offer is $1,286 per month, per vendor.”
The offer from Bluesky includes:
1. A free Turbo smartphone which comes pre-loaded with:
1000MB free data
1000 free minutes
1000 free SMS
The freebies will kick in every month for the next 6 months.
Also offered was:
2. Free Landline rental
3. Free Moana TV
4. Free 1000MB for home broadband.
As for the Small Business Enterprise Centre (S.B.E.C), it is offering free Occupational Safety and Health training for all the vendors affected.
Vendors also have the opportunity secure a guaranteed loan scheme through S.B.E.C with a six per cent interest rate through the D.B.S to the amount of $5,000.