South Africa has been placed on a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown, and like many businesses in South Africa, you’ve most likely closed shop, and let your customers know that your business won’t be operating during the lockdown.
Although Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has launched SMME debt relief funding, and now also for spaza shop support, it was made clear right at the start that the self-employed would not be covered. Based on this and many other factors we have decided to launch our Five Rand Fund for the Forgotten campaign.
Five Rand Fund For the Forgotten
75% of small and micro businesses will close down if the lockdown runs beyond 30 June, a new survey by the South African SME Finance Association (SASFA) shows. The survey, which included responses from 2,300 business owners, found that the majority (70%) of SMMEs cannot trade under the country’s lockdown restrictions.
Despite the help offered by the government and the private sector, only a fraction of these businesses have received any support. Only 47% of business owners applied for relief from government or financial institutions, because many of the remaining 53% did not believe they would qualify. But even amongst the 47% who did apply, only 32% were successful.
This means that a mere 15% of SMEs with a turnover of below R10 million per annum, had any support. The R200 billion Loan Guarantee Scheme from the National Treasury supports the formal banks to lend to SMEs with a turnover of up to R300 million per annum which is way above that of any small business in our country.
Banks follow the traditional credit-vetting criteria which often require surety and security and again, something most small business owners cannot offer. It is also expensive and difficult to underwrite funding for small SMEs with turnovers of less than R10 million per annum.
As such, the bulk of financial support is going to medium and large businesses that can provide security and have longer track records. This is the catalyst behind our funding campaign, to assist the small business owner who does not meet any of the criteria required by the mainstream funding institutions and who produce a turnover of under R500, 000.00 per annum when in operation.
The national lockdown is a source of concern for many small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs), who have limited cash reserves and rely on a steady income to keep their doors open. However, South African entrepreneurs have proven themselves to be resilient and adaptable and they are a source of great pride and inspiration to the nation.
To help our invaluable SMME owners, we would like to announce our crowdfunding idea to raise funding for SMME’s.
This is a strange time to be asking for money – we know that. Unfortunately, existing financial needs means we are unable to delay our crowdfund campaign until after the pandemic, we feel and see the desperation of small businesses every day and they need all the support that we can give as soon as possible.
If you haven’t donated already and have the means to, please follow the link on our website and put in anything you can. This will help us achieve our target and be in a position to help many small businesses save their companies. If you can’t donate, please share, share, and share again! We can do this. We can change the lives of so many people today. Stay safe, and stay home.
SMEs have the potential to fire up economic growth in South Africa, but at the moment they are struggling financially and with financially stressed consumers and rising operating costs. Luckily, the South African public can help set our local entrepreneurs on a stronger footing with the focus on saving their business and preventing it from folding altogether.
We need to always remember: the pandemic is not just a public health emergency. It has plunged our country into the greatest job loss and potential business closure since the Great Depression. The economic damage and the human cost of it have been incalculable.
The last number of weeks have undoubtedly been some of the toughest and most uncertain times for many small businesses. We need to do everything in our power to take care of our small business owners.
We have been working diligently to put in motion the new Help –a- Business (H.A.B) initiative, “Five Rand Fund for the Forgotten” and are happy to announce that H.A.B has started various drives to acquire funding to help businesses that suffered economic losses during COVID-19.
How to qualify
Qualifying businesses with 20 employees or less could receive up to R40, 000, depending on their expenses/losses during the pandemic. Eligible expenses under the program include rental interest, rent, payroll, utilities, and other pandemic-related expenses. The grant cannot cover lost revenue. This is a great project as it deals with an issue that every South African small business is faced with on a daily if not hourly basis, bankruptcy.
We come into contact with them every day, and all have our own views and opinions on the matter with one general consensus that something must be done. This campaign will give the people of South Africa the opportunity to take action and be a part of saving our small and local businesses and be the change in their world.
We urge South Africans to make donating toward and supporting small businesses as their top resolution for what remains of this year. We are asking everybody to give them the support their businesses need with your HEARTS AND WALLETS today.
We want Help-A-Business to be South Africa’s most exciting and accessible small business rescue programme EVER. For more information, visit the BackABuddy website here.