Budget welcomed – Association pleased with effort by State to stimulate economic activity

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The Suva Retailers Association has welcomed the national budget and the effort by the government to stimulate economic activity and confidence with a commitment to those most affected; people and businesses.

In a statement, the associationsaid it was pleased with the fact that priority was being placed on employment opportunities and investment in stimulating economic activity.

According to the association, those were the key areas in which it is particularly interested in and sees opportunities for retailers.

“Additionally, we do recognise that a number of concessions were made in 2020 that retailers have benefitted from; reduction in the Service Turnover Tax and Environment and Climate Adaptation Tax, removal of stamp duties from buying houses, purchasing a car or hire-purchase, the reduction in fiscal duty, elimination of import excise tax as well as the reduction in customs duties on over 1600 items and the massive reduction on the penalty for late tax payment has also been a huge relief,” it said.

The association expressed its pleasure at the assistance aimed to aid Fijian-owned micro, small and medium enterprises that had been seriously impacted by the pandemic.

It said the assistance only meant more opportunities for innovation and diversification and in-turn increased economic activity benefitting everyone.

The association stated that the COVID-19 credit guarantee scheme that provided capital support for businesses to sustain themselves at the final stages of the pandemic was so critical and would serve extremely beneficial as businesses work to meet current operational needs.

“The assistance toward loan repayments for businesses for the first two years and the guarantee provided by Government on loan repayments provides reassurance and peace of mind for many businesses at this time, considering the uncertainties for many with focus on immediate business stability and recovery.”

It further said the unemployment support of $200 million allocated by Government to assist the most seriously impacted was a welcome and the association would continue to strengthen its own charity arm by providing support where needed for communities and frontline workers.

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