Nwabisa Godangwana from Khayelitsha runs a fashion design business as a side-hustle. When the COVID-19 safety restrictions were announced, she had to shut down her business completely, so it came as a relief when the government announced Level 4 lockdown which allows small businesses to reopen. Nwabisa has gone on to design and sell face masks enabling her to earn an income during the lockdown period. She’s also set aside time to upgrade her social media pages, which is attracting even more customers.
FACTS & DEFINITIONS:
Many businesses all around the world are struggling to keep their doors open as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, small, micro, and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) can apply for the Debt Relief Fund and a Business Growth/Resilience Facility to assist with the expected economic slowdown. Over R500 million has been made available through the Department of Small Business Development.There is also relief funding for those in tourism, sports, arts and culture, and agriculture, that focuses primarily on applicants in rural areas, townships, women and young people living with disabilities.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has made a 3-month loan available for essential supplies combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, while the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) is making R200-million in loans available for black-owned businesses that need working capital, machinery and equipment to manufacture and supply a range of medical products to support the healthcare sector during the pandemic.
Salary support to help employers during the lockdown period sees the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Relief Scheme assisting businesses that can’t pay full salaries to workers sent home during lockdown.