Hundreds of businesses in Samoa have been forced to cut working hours of staff because of loss of revenue due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The President of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Ula Fruean, has written to the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, requesting government assistance for over 430 businesses.
This includes three large private sector organisations
Ms Furean said loss of revenue and disruptions to cash flow is severely impacting to businesses as a result of the emergency measures in place in the country to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
She said the majority of the businesses have preferred to cut working hours rather than laying off employees as the latter would place them at a financial disadvantage.
But the president has revealed to the minister that some of the chamber's members are considering closure or downsizing their work force should the situation worsen soon.
The Samoa Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to provide relief assistance to keep business afloat and stimulate the economy during these difficult times.
It recommends for all government ministries and organisations to release outstanding payments owed to local businesses to assist with cash flow.
These include payments ane entitlements from the Accident Compensation Corporation and the Samoa National Provident Fund among other sources.