Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has urged the national government to support small scale traders to cushion them against the effects of Covid-19.
In his address to the nation Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol by bars and restaurants to the delight of members of the bars association who had been complaining that the long closure had badly affected their businesses.
And to continue cushioning Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the National Treasury was instructed to consider maintaining the reduction of the turnover tax rate from 3 percent to 1 percent for this category.
The scheme is intended to help small scale traders including those in the informal settlements like barbershops who account for the bulk of jobs in Kenya.
Speaking at his Garissa residence while issuing cheques worth Sh 6.8 million from Garissa Township Uwezo Fund to 34 women groups engaged in small and medium businesses in Garissa town Tuesday, Duale said that even though the funds have played an integral part in uplifting small businesses there are many more deserving cases out there.
Duale commended the Presidents’ speech terming it ‘timely and full of positive things’. He urged the relevant ministries to identify businesses which require financial aid and support them.
“Kenyans in general are a resilient and a hard working lot. This is attested by how they toil on a day today basis to put food on their tables. With little support these groups of people can change their lives for the better. Let the government and leaders walk with them during this trying times that they require their support more than ever,” Duale said.
“If you are blessed by God support women-owned small businesses near you even in a small way. Helping women achieve their full potential is one of the most powerful ways to fight poverty in our constituencies. Investing in opportunities for women could have tremendous economic and social impact,” he added.
Garissa Township constituency Uwezo Fund chairman Paul Chege said that this is a second round of refinancing the groups after repaying back their first loans.
“We are happy to note that these business groups involved in various income generating activities are very disciplined with repaying and that is why we continue to support them. Our appeal is that others follow suit and we will definitely support them,” Chege said.
By Jacob Songok