"I could not pay my employees after my business stopped. No one was using their cars, so they did not need them fixed anymore” - Mohammad Rifatul Islam, Kotwali, Dhaka.
Rifatul is a mechanic who runs a car repair workshop. His customers stopped coming when the pandemic hit.
Rifatul had a fixed deposit account of BDT 30,000 (USD 354). He visited the BRAC office before Eid-ul-Fitr (a major religious holiday) to find out how to withdraw from it to cover the outstanding salaries.
“I was advised to keep my deposit intact and offered a loan of 90% of the amount. I could repay the loan in 12 instalments over 12 months. This gave me a renewed sense of hope. I took a loan of BDT 25,000 (USD 295), used it to pay my five employees, and now with the lockdown easing, my customers have started returning.” said Rifatul.