Western Cape pumps R27 million into small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic is said to have cost the province 170 000 jobs

Western Cape pumps R27 million into small businesses

The Western Cape has set aside R27 million to help businesses cushion the economic blow spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent job losses.

This is part of a relief fund established to give both the formal and informal sectors a boost. It will be used to mainly subsidise businesses and their expenses including fixed costs, operational costs and supplier debt.

“We know that times have been tough for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why, from the start, we have been working hard to support businesses, especially small businesses, to open safely and responsibly, so we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape,” the provincial government in a statement on Tuesday, 22 September 2020.

As many as 170 000 were lost in the province, as a result of the global pandemic.

WC government: ‘An important step to help businesses rebuild and save jobs’

However, the relief will not be going towards payments of and towards salaries and wages and the assistance afforded to formal trade will be capped at approximately R200 000 per business and R15 000 for informal establishments.

“The department reserves the right to determine a higher or lesser amount and the right to fund selected components of the approved application,” the government further said.

Businesses that have benefited from any government-spearheaded relief programme would however not be eligible for any funding.

The closing date for the relief applications to be submitted is 12 October 2020 at 10:00.

The provincial government has also launched a workplace safety campaign, which aims to encourage businesses to implement health and safety guidelines in the workplaces.

“With the move to alert level 1 which allows more businesses to safely open, this fund is an important step in our economic recovery plan to help businesses to rebuild and save jobs in the Western Cape.”

The province currently has more than 109 000 infections of COVID-19 and was once considered the epicentre of the virus. It has since been overtaken by Gauteng, which has over 217 000 cases.

The province is also pinning its hopes on domestic tourism to make an economic recovery, having officially opened its doors to visitors in August, when the country was under level 2 of the lockdown. It will be spending R4 million towards campaigns promoting local tourism.

Source : The South African More