Mary Ann is 45 years old and has been running her food business and retail store for 8 years. The income she earns has helped see her three children through school, with two of them continuing their education at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
While many small-medium scale businesses were heavily impacted by the crisis caused by Covid-19, Mary Ann’s adapted well. She decided to join Grameen Pilipinas Microfinance, Inc. in October 2020 to add to the variety of food that she can offer in her store. She was granted her first loan of 22,500 PHP (467 USD) which she planned to use to purchase an industrial stainless griddle to enable her to add fried chicken and hamburgers to her daily menu to meet the demands of her hungry customers.
On 12th 2020 November, extreme weather from Typhoon Ulysses caused the Marikina River to burst its banks, resulting in mass flooding in what was a non-flood prone area where Mary Ann and her family had been living for 24 years. The river water rose to over 18 meters high and caused massive damage to property, livelihoods, and even loss of life.
The November typhoons caused mass devastation on communities already struggling to survive because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mary Ann and her family were determined to rise above the difficulties, but the extent of damage meant considerable support would be needed to get her family and her business up and running again. To help Mary Ann get her business and her life back on track, GPMI granted a 6-week moratorium on her loan payments. With the support of GPMI, Mary Ann was able to slowly get her business going again and she is now able to repay her loan. Mary Ann is an excellent example of the resilience of GPMI borrowers: even when faced with such severe destruction she was able to recover and rebuild her business.