HERE’S HOW TO APPLY FOR COVID-19 BUSINESS FUNDING
03 April 2020: Positioned to provide widespread and sustainable support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are financially impacted by COVID-19, the newly-established Sukuma Relief Programme comprises two distinct and separate relief offerings – one for formal sole proprietors and another for other business entities, namely close corporations, companies, and trusts.
This is according to Ben Bierman, Managing Director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – one of Africa’s leading risk finance companies for SMEs and the appointed Administrator of the fund – who explains that the financial aid and assistance will comprise grants and low-interest-bearing loans with a 12-month repayment holiday.
“The Sukuma Relief Programme is structured to provide relief against the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, while leveraging further support as far as possible. Qualifying formal sole proprietors will receive a non-repayable grant of R25 000. Formal close corporations, companies and trusts will be eligible for an unsecured loan ranging between R250 000 and R1 000 000, with no repayment obligations or interest incurred for the first 12 months, in addition to a R25 000 grant,” says Bierman.
In terms of necessary criteria, he says that close corporations, companies or trusts must be registered, tax- and regulatory-compliant South African businesses that can prove viability prior to the arrival of the pandemic. “When applying, these entities will therefore be required to submit documents and supporting evidence to corroborate that it is a viable business that was impacted by COVID-19. This proof can be a demonstration of a decrease in turnover, erosion of working capital, or inability to pay salaries.
“Similarly, formal sole proprietors will need to provide proof of an active bank account to show business activity prior to the outbreak of the pandemic and provide evidence of tax compliance,” he adds.