Businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Muhanga district, have been given Rwf383 million grants to boost their shuttered economies, but request more working hours so for them to be able to pay the loans.
The beneficiaries say the grant money helped them to return to normal operations after they have lost the hope of reviving their businesses.
Rachael Uradukunda, a beneficiary who accessed Rwf1 million says that the money helped her to return to normal operations, but they are threatened by the time limits that were put in place as a measure to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
“We used to work till late in the night so that we could get money to pay the unpaid loans but now that we are closing at 9 pm is a challenge,” she said.
However, she says that they are likely to earn even more in case they continue operating at the pace they are working on.
Narcisse Nsengiyaremye a businessman also believes that working hours have to be extended so as to allow customers and businesses to exchange services without threat especially those who sell beverages.
“The liquor dealers get customers in the evening and closing at three o’clock early can affect to pay off the loan,” he said. “In late hours, it is where they enjoy liquors in their siesta hours.”
Eric Bizimana, the director of planning at Muhanga District, says that out of Rwf426 million that was designed for a particular project, the district has given out Rwf383 million.
“Muhanga district is at the forefront of the country in providing loans to many traders,” he said.
Of the more than 90 borrowers in Shyogwe Sector, 3 are people with disabilities. In addition, out of Rwf451 million that were accessed, up to 426 businesses and financial institutions are all in Muhanga District.