Soloi Kelemete is a 39 year-old mother from the village of Aleisa.
She runs and operates a small village shop at Aleisa with her husband.
Soloi told the Village Voice yesterday that running a small shop in the village is not easy as they don’t make much profit.
“Business here in the village varies from time to time. Especially with all the Chinese businesses we have in Samoa now.
“And even though I don’t make that much profit everyday with my business, I know that it’s natural for businesses to be like this.
“We have good days and bad days and the competition is very tough as well.
“To me, even if I make a .10cent profit a day, that’s enough for me.”
In terms of the number of shoppers, Soloi said that there are days where they only get $20 and make a $2 profit.
“But that’s different every day. It’s not the same every day. But we get a lot of people to buy from our shop on the weekends.”
Aside from this, Soloi said one of the problems she faces with running her business is the number of people requesting for IOU’s from her shop.
“A lot of people come here for IOU. And even though I know that that’s not good for business, I still give it to them because we are all Samoans.
“We all struggle and we all need help sometimes. And I do it also because I know that what goes around comes around as well.”
However, Soloi also added that she had some problems with some of the people who do not pay their debts on time and some of them don’t pay it at all.
“Most of them take advantage of this and just ignore that they owe me money. “They know that this is a small shop, and we need money to keep it going, but they still choose to do whatever they want without paying us back.”
However, Soloi reiterated that that problem can still be solved.
“We all need help sometimes and I know that as Samoans, we need to help one another. We were brought up that way and that’s the way my parents taught us, to love other people as we love ourselves. “We support one another and lend a helping hand if needed. I know it’s a bad strategy for my business, but I know that at the end of the day, I always feel good knowing that I was able to help someone in need.
“God has different ways of blessing us, and he will help those who help themselves.”