One of the biggest success stories of ours was when we loaned a figure of £10,000 to a fisherman. Here in the North Mariana, we have this amazing influx of shrimp and prawns that are waiting to be caught every year. The problem is, due to the tourist nature of our location we do not have a lot of genuine workers here. The small number of workers we do have do not earn enough money to start their own businesses based off their catch.
That is when we were approached by this man, who let us know that he planned to catch the shrimp and prawn to distribute to two sectors: the tourist restaurants on the island, and the American harbour towns. American harbour towns do not have a giant amount of shrimp or prawn distributors. This may sound strange, but you must remember that any catches on the American seas are distributed inland, not to the towns themselves.
This was a brilliant idea, but with all loans, there was one hiccup that we felt would jeopardize this man’s business. The lack of proper storage planning.
If you are catching even just 100 KG of shrimp and prawn, you must consider the freshness of the fish by the time it hits inland. If you do not maintain the stock, it can go bad very quickly. Especially as the fish are so small.
That is why we increased his loan from £6,000 to £10,000, as we would not allow him the loan unless the boat had the correct fridge or freezing units. We want our people to be successful, and we knew that if we were to loan him the original amount with his original plan, he would go broke quickly.
Any loan company has a duty to be considerate of their customers and help them succeed, not just make a profit from them.