20 Nov 2006

Many small businesses in Tonga may not re-open after riot damage

11:35 am on 20 November 2006

A member of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce says many small businesses damaged in last week's riot may not be able to afford to start up again.

Kololiana Naufahu says their insurance policies are not likely to pay out on damage from civil disruption such as seen last week in the capital, Nukualofa.

She says many of the small businesses affected are on tight margins and some have decided it is not worth opening again.

It is estimated 80 per cent of businesses in downtown Nukualofa were burned down.

Meanwhile, the Government has formed a committee to rebuild the capital, and it has been meeting over the weekend.