Tonga's Govt offers development loans to businesses

More than half of the package is in the form of government development loans totalling $US5 million.

Businesses in the agriculture, fisheries, and tourism sectors have been offered up $US22,230 per annum whilst retail and wholesalers have been offered up to $US88,900 per annum.

Tonga Chamber of Commerce President Sam Vea said that many businesses wanted stronger assistance from the government such as a cash injection, subsidies on bank loans, as well as a reduction in utility costs.

Half of Tonga's tourism businesses 'won't return' after tsunami, lockdown

At least 35 tourism and hospitality businesses were either partially or totally destroyed by the tsunami and eruption on 15 January, according to Tourism Tonga.

This included a number of businesses in the western district of Tongatapu – the “resort hub” of the main island of Tonga.

Most of the resorts on the island were significantly damaged, with the most popular, Vakaloa Resort, completely wiped off the map without a single structure standing.

Pacific Trade Invest Australia takes Social Media Masterclass to Tonga

The masterclass is in partnership with the Investment and Export Promotion Division (IEPD), Tonga Ministry of Trade and Economic Development

Australia supports Tongan businesses through MTED

A further AUD 5 million has been directed to support Tonga’s COVID-19 Business Recovery Assistance Program, which aims to improve the well-being and living standards of Tongans in the formal and informal business sectors.

This funding is part of the Australian Government’s AUD 304.7 million Pacific COVID-19 Response Package, specifically targeting Tonga’s tourism, agriculture, fisheries, retail and wholesale, and manufacturing industries.

Report highlights Covid-19 impact on Tonga's private sector

The Pacific Business Monitor Tonga Focus 2020 Report aggregates results from respondents in Tonga across all the PTI Pacific Business Monitor surveys conducted in 2020. The report provides insight into the impact Covid-19 had on Tonga’s private sector last year, in comparison to businesses in the Pacific region.

Tonga Government extends Covid-19 Business Recovery Assistance

Prime Minister Dr. Pohiva Tu‟i‟onetoa announced the additional support from the Stimulus package will be March until the end of June 2021.

A statement said the Government has considered the depth and duration of the Covid-19 global pandemic and economic downturn to be longer.

The Prime Minister’s Office said preparations to re-open the border safely is going to be extended beyond 2021 into 2022.

“Two separate surveys in the second and fourth quarters of 2020 confirmed the impact on businesses to be substantial.”

Impact on female-led Pacific businesses deepens as COVID-19 takes its toll

Despite this, Pacific businesses continue to adapt; an increasing number have scaled back operations, with fully operational female-led businesses decreasing to 23 per cent (down from 29 percent during Survey 4 of the PTI Pacific Business Monitor), and partially operational businesses increasing from 29 per cent to 41 per cent.

Commenting on the Survey 5 findings, PTI Australia Trade & Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis noted that the pandemic is biting hard for all businesses – particularly those led by women.