Yangon, Burma, April 23, 2020 --(PR.com
)-- A leading Myanmar microfinance institution with private equity investment backing has announced repayment grace periods, easing burdens on customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. As a part of its Business Continuity Plan, Easy Microfinance is working with those affected by the crisis to reschedule their next payments.
The Company temporarily suspended operations from the 6th–30th April as directed by the Financial Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry in order to support efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“We have moved all repayment dates back one month to help our clients during this difficult time. We are passionately committed to carrying on our important mission of helping hard-working micro-entrepreneurs overcome challenges and reach their goals,” said Frank Snieders, Managing Director of Easy Microfinance. “We will continue to follow the development of the crisis and adapt our future operations to best serve our clients and employees.”
During the ever-evolving global crisis, Easy Microfinance had also implemented all safety and health measures set forth by the World Health Organization when it was serving clients and employees. Easy Microfinance embarked on numerous measures to make sure its staff and clients remain safe including:
- Training of staff and clients on how to prevent spread and contamination
- Mandatory temperature screening at the entrance of all its branches and head office
- Providing hand sanitizers
- Providing re-usable masks to all its staff
- Social distancing, limiting the number of staff and clients that can be in its branches or head office concurrently, implementing working from home where possible
- Splitting its head office into two teams, working from home and from the office alternately to ensure business continuity and enable social distancing
- Suspending all non essential travel, including new client acquisition
- Installing plexiglass partitions for all its teller booths and client advisor desks to avoid contamination through droplets
“We know how important it is for micro-entrepreneurs to have access to capital, especially when COVID-19 has disrupted regular commerce,” said Askar Alshinbayev, Principal and Founding Partner of Meridian Capital Limited, a primary shareholder in Easy Microfinance. “We evaluate our institutional success based on the change that we see in the communities that we serve and the economic uplift that our investment generates. In the time of COVID-19, we support the leadership team at Easy Microfinance in their role in changing the economic landscape in Myanmar and support them in their strategic and empathic decision to provide temporary relief from micro-loan repayments for clients, allowing them the chance to build a more prosperous future during these unprecedented times. We are committed to the company’s work and will remain closely attuned to the dynamic needs of Easy Microfinance in Myanmar.”
While the financial impact of the crisis on Myanmar remains unclear, Easy Microfinance leaders—supported by the Board of Directors—have instituted a Business Continuity Plan that addresses the needs of all clients and employees.
“We’re grateful to our shareholders and employees for their diligence in always making safety and wellbeing our top priorities,” said Mr. Snieders. “We know they share our commitment to providing access to capital for small businesses providing essential services.”
Easy Microfinance will continue to monitor the crisis and is scheduled to reopen operations May 4, 2020.