Small business owners affected by the fire at the Savalalo Flea Market two weeks ago have praised the government’s quick action to set up a temporary market.
Officially opened yesterday, the temporary Flea Market allows the more than 200 business owners affected to rebuild their businesses, earlier than expected.
The opening follows the government’s decision to pay each of them $1,000 assistance.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, said the government’s quick response was only possible through the aid provided by China for the S.I.D.S conference. He was referring to tents and other equipment, which the government had stored for rainy days.
Tuilaepa said it is important to the government that the businesses affected are able to get back on their feet as soon as possible given the vital role they play in the economy, especially the tourism industry.
“We have given each of the stall owners one thousand tala for relief,” he said.
“On top of that, they are also granted the opportunity to borrow with special terms from our Development Bank of Samoa.”
But the best part is yet to come.
Tuilaepa announced that the stall owners don’t have to pay rent at the temporary market for at least two months.
The assistance was welcomed by stall owners. Many of them told the Samoa Observer that they are extremely grateful for the government’s response.
President of the Savalalo Flea Market Association, Leuluaialii Rosemary Lavea Vaaulu, expressed her sincere appreciation for Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his government.
The Minister of Public Enterprises and the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C), Lautafi Fio Purcell, cut the ribbon.
“Where there is a will, there’s a way,” he said. “I acknowledge the hard work from the Samoa Land Corporation in the putting up of these stalls and tents in a period of just seven days.”