North Mariana suffers from a very serious local trade problem when it is not tourist time. I spoke about it at the start of this blog, but it is a severe issue that effects all residents. When the local economy is low, everyone suffers. For a long time, it was just accepting among the locals. Recently we had a local who wanted to fix this issue.
There is a lot of unused land in North Mariana, and as there is so little work for everyone, he decided that because of the fertile land, we could grow exotic fruits and vegetables that we could export. Now you need to understand, this was never going to fix the local economy for good or be a permanent solution. Nor was it meant to be.
But the farm provided a lot of the locals with a very key opportunity. They were able to make money outside of the season. The opportunity to still make a living outside of their seasons by being paid a wage meant that this loan was something we were obliged to do for the community.
The farm was mainly a plantation more than an actual farm. It became a plantation that grew bananas, but they also managed to grow tobacco and a few other commodities which were considered valuable for the industry. It was a great help to the locals for the short term, and in the long term it became a sustainable business.
To this day, it is one of our proudest business loans that we have provided our customers. This kind of loan is always a great one for us and for the community.
The next type of loan we wish to source ourselves is one that will help grow the local economy. Once the economy grows, the more money the locals make and the more money we make. It’s a hard thing to say no to, and everyone benefits from it.