Direct access to information about support available to SMMEs and where to apply for it, is now available.

This WhatsApp-based service provides users with information on the public and private support available to SMMES in South Africa during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond. You can interact with the service to request information, but you will not receive a personal response. This automated service does not request or store any personal information; it only tracks the number of downloads.


Keeping SMEs in business, now and beyond the lockdown

The 21-day national lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on South Africa’s economy, corporates and – in particular – on SMEs, jobs and the livelihoods of many South Africans.  The ratings agency downgrades have put further strain on the economy.

In his national address on 9 April, President Ramaphosa called on all businesses to continue to pay their suppliers:

I would like to call on all businesses to continue to pay their suppliers, to the extent that they can, to ensure that those suppliers can also continue to operate and pay their staff and suppliers.

In this respect, I would like to appeal to all large businesses not to resort to force majeure and stop paying their suppliers and rental commitments, as such practice has a domino effect on all other businesses dependent on that chain.

We must do all we can to ensure that the underlying economy continues to function and to focus support on those small businesses that really need them.

On 14 April, Business South Africa called on its members to heed the President’s call, and the CEO Initiative followed suit, in calling for its members to pay all outstanding SME creditors by 20 April.

We are encouraged by those corporates that have heeded this call, and look forward to more public commitments of support for this nationally important initiative.

#KeepSMEsGoing is a call to action to save more than 525,000 SMEs and more than 6 million jobs!

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