By Kamundia Muriithi
A Sacco in Embu has asked the government to create a fund to support businesses in case of upheavals caused by future pandemics.
Focus Realtors Sacco leadership also appealed to various governing institutions to develop measures to relieve the pains of businesses going through hard financial times.
The Sacco management recounted that they experienced many challenges last year after the Covid-19 pandemic, just like many other businesses in the country.
The chairman Rev. Linus Muriithi cited loan defaults by clients as a major challenge that prompted measures to ensure members did not lose their savings.
“We held talks with the loan defaulters and others whose loan installments had fallen due and came up with new repayment plans such as increased repayment periods and lowered installments,” he said.
The Sacco CEO Truphena Wawira noted many of their customers are business people who were adversely affected by the government directives initially put into fighting Covid-19.
They said the closure of some businesses and the ongoing curfew affected most businesses, leading to poor performance and loss of jobs.
The leaders called on the government to set aside emergency funds for business people and institutions.
“The government should consider a low-interest fund for Saccos, which would in turn offer loans to their members at affordable rates during pandemics and other hard economic times to help businesses to remain afloat during tough times,” said Wawira.
They spoke during the Focus Realtors Sacco 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Mwenendega Leisure Gardens in Embu East Sub-County.
The institution issued interest on deposits at 7% and dividends on shares at 10 percent.
The chairman said having over 17 strategic business units (SBUs) under the Focus Realtors CBO helped greatly to keep them afloat in matters business during last year.
The Sacco leadership also revealed that members can purchase shares worth Sh2, 500 towards in a four-storey plaza the CBO is constructing in Runyenjes town.
Construction of the building started in 2019, and is nearing completion.
Wawira also called on the Embu County Government to review business licenses law, noting that some businesses struggle to pay multiple levies and fees.
She advised members to invest largely so that they will be moneyed always even during pandemics.
Focus Realtors Captain Jamal Runyenje said when people embrace a savings culture, they live longer. He said lack of money later leads to stress in many people, creating various health challenges.
“Researcher shows that people save more during difficult times than other times. Why is that so? It is because when you have plenty you tend to misuse it. Some people treat dividend income as an unexpected windfall, get excited and spent it lavishly without a plan,” he said.
He said spending money extravagantly on unplanned things amounts to wasting your future income than if you had invested that money.