Small businesses in South Africa were already in financial distress when Covid-19 hit.

That’s the word from Small Business Institute (SBI) chief executive officer John Dludlu.

The SBI on Tuesday released a review of the unprecedented flood of papers and surveys about South African small, micro and medium-sized businesses (SMMEs), formal and informal, written since the arrival of Covid-19 and the country’s lockdown response.

Dludlu was in conversation with Tumisang Ndlovu on POWER Business.

“Unfortunately it’s so disappointing that quite a lot of them would not have survived what Covid-19 has done to them.

“Up to 55 000 SMMEs may not survive this period according to our estimates,” adds Dludlu.

Last year, the National Treasury announced that it was considering allowing small business who do business with the state to be able to charge government interest for late payments, which is often associated with public procurement.

Many SMMEs have on numerous occasions cited government non-payment as their main reason for closing their doors.

In the economic policy paper released for public comment, Treasury said small businesses should be supported through public procurement.

“The late payment issue is a big one.”

Government has provided relief for small businesses to help them survive amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The department of small business development has set aside R513 million for SMME debt relief funding scheme.

It has announced that it received 35 865 applications and only 1497 applications were approved for funding.

POWER Digital

by POWER 98.7 – https://www.power987.co.za/featured/listen-covid-19-found-smmes-already-struggling/