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Businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions plead for govt. assistance

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 29/04/2020

Many businesses in Tonga might be closed down in the next 6 months as they do not have enough money to operate and not enough money as well to pay their workers.

In a press conference yesterday with the Tonga Chamber of Commerce, most of the businesses urgently requested financial assistance from the government as their businesses are being affected due to restrictions from COVID-19.

Representing the bars and restaurants was Robert Sullivan – the owner of Billfish Bar & Restaurant who says, they are affected since the national lockdown and urges government for financial assistance.

During last week’s press conference, Minister of MEIDECC – Poasi Tei talked about how the government will consult with hotel owners of Kupesi and Tanoa hotel as a facility for confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tonga, in which Liz Cowley representing the tourism sector says, they are still looking into the issue.

With yesterday’s press conference, Sam Vea of the Tonga Chamber says although they’ve received government’s financial support from the stimulus package however they do not know how it’ll be divided among the businesses throughout Tonga.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister – Tevita Lavemaau says, businesses fall under the economic & social recovery cluster and they are working with the Ministry of Labour into dividing the necessary funds.

The $60million economic & social stimulus package a 3-months package which will last until June.

© Radio and Television Tonga News