Traders in Nakuru County have called on the county government to hasten the rollout of the Traders Revolving Fund, to enable them access credit for business expansion.
The traders, who have decried slow business growth, noted that Sh.1 billion promised by Governor Susan Kihika, has taken too long, causing their businesses to stagnate.
“If only I could get someone to support me improve the state of my business, I would be very happy” Ann Andati, a resident of Nakuru County who owns a grocery in Racecourse estate said.
Andati, a 47-year-old mother of three, has been carrying out the grocery business for the last 21 years and attributed the current hard economic times to dwindling business that had slowed down demand for groceries such as tomatoes.
Andati said that as a small business owner in Nakuru, she has never received any assistance from the county government.
“We only hear that there is some loan being offered to small business operators in Nakuru but we have not yet been part of this. I hope that the new county government will consider the small businesses,” she remarked, disclosing that on a good day she sells fruits and vegetables worth between sh. 600 and sh.700.
Julius Nyariki, a boda boda operator at Race course estate, echoed her sentiments saying the county government should start disbursing the promised funds with immediate effect. “We also would want to raise our living standards through this help from the county government,” Nyariki, 51 said.
Nyariki, who lost his job as a casual labourer at Spin Knit Limited three years ago, regretted that casual labour was hard to come by and overreliance on the business had further worsened the situation.
County Trade officer Veronica Wairimu, told the traders in a recent public participation forum that Governor Kihika was committed to the bottom-up economy model promised by the Kenya Kwanza Government.
“We are already working on the paper work which will show how the governor is going to allocate the one billion meant for the bottom-up economy,” Wairimu added.
Wairimu said that the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) that is in the formulation stage had factored in the trade fund, meant to be offered to small business operators as loan to help them improve their work conditions as well as boost their incomes.
By Anne Sabuni and Branice Amunga