By THE NATION
“About two months before the fair, more than 500 GSB executives and staff visited tourism-related businesses on Koh Samui to survey their financial needs and design suitable products,” GSB president Withai Ratanakorn said.
“This project, called ‘GSB’s Samui Model’, aims to help stimulate the island’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism, by providing funds to large corporations, SME operators as well as people at the grassroots level to help them overcome this economic recession.
“The fair itself was a huge success with more than 2,500 applicants seeking financial products from the bank,” he said. “We provided soft loans totalling more than Bt1.5 billion to boost the liquidity of some 2,000 businesses, and also provided debt-restructuring services to 500 customers with a combined debt worth Bt446 million and debt negotiation services with the Legal Execution Department for 30 customers.”
Withai said apart from financial services, GSB also offered help in the form of:
• Scholarships for 320 students whose families are suffering adversely from the fallout of Covid-19.
• Building chicken coops, mushroom growing barns and vegetable gardens at local schools to promote students’ agricultural skills.
• Buying community products such as fish, eggs, and vegetables to stimulate local economy and donating these products to low-income earners.
• Providing vehicles to 10 street food vendors and career-training courses to 300 people.
“The GSB for Samui fair and Samui Model project are products of GSB’s commitment in helping local communities overcome the hardship from the impact of Covid-19 outbreak,” Withai said. “In the next phase, GSB will organise ‘Travel Samui with GSB’ to promote tourism on the island by offering special discounts on hotel packages for holders of GSB credit cards.
“We also hope that the Samui Model will serve as a pilot framework for other agencies who are interested in organising similar campaigns to boost local economy in other provinces.”