The leader of the Tautua Samoa Party, Palusalue Fa’apo II has urged the government to utilise an allocation on the budget called unforeseen expenditure to help the businesses affected by the fire.
The amount is $14million in the 2015/2016 budget, according to Palusalue.
Speaking during their weekly press conference, Palusalue said the government must recognize the contribution by these small businesses owners to the development of Samoa. Palusalue sympathised with the small businesses and urged government to act immediately.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the hard work of many families and their businesses going up in flame,” said Palusalue.
He argued that the unforeseen expenditure in the budget is allocation for times such as this.
“We urge the government and Cabinet to make this fund available to assist the poor businesses who have lost everything they had built over the years.”
Recalling the past, Palusalue said in 2009, the fund had assisted the people affected by the tsunami.
He suggested that perhaps it could be loaned to businesses on a very low interest rate.
“The businesses need that money to restore their businesses, to buy new products and rebuild what they have lost,” Palusalue said.
“We encourage the businesses to be strong and patient as the government has promised to look for space for them to sell their goods and get back on their feet.”