The City of Cape Town is preparing to implement its business retention and expansion (BR&E) visitation programme which will be rolled out in Cape Town industrial areas progressively over the next 18 months, the city said on Sunday.
In a bid to help businesses recover from the severe negative impact of the national coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown measures, the city was working hard to ensure that it not only minimised the effects of this crisis, but also built a stronger, more resilient future for businesses and, ultimately, the residents of Cape Town, mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said in a statement.
Through its enterprise and investment department, the city was focusing on supporting SMMES to ensure business retention and helping those that could expand their operations by taking advantage of the opportunities every crisis presented.
"We need to be responsive to new supply and demand dynamics to ensure our industries are best-placed to emerge from this crisis and receive the support they need to thrive. The city is therefore preparing for the implementation of its business retention and expansion (BR&E) visitation programme which will be rolled out in Cape Town industrial areas progressively over the next 18 months," he said.
The aim was to conduct surveys with businesses in each of the industrial areas and seek to work in partnership with business and business support organisations to address issues within the city's control that might be holding back the growth of these businesses.
The programme was in addition to other city initiatives aimed at supporting the retention and expansion of businesses across the city as they restored their operations in the post-lockdown period. These other initiatives included the support offered by the business hub, the investment incentives programme, various enterprise, supplier, and skills development programmes, a business rescue programme in conjunction with Productivity SA, the distribution of SMME toolkits, and the industrial areas hotspot action plan, Vos said.
"In the past couple of weeks, I have visited a variety of businesses, including Khayelitsha Cookies in Parow, the PF Nonwovens facility in Atlantis, Paygas in Philippi, and Teleperformance in Woodstock. The discussions around how the city and the enterprise and investment department can assist these diverse businesses were fruitful and I look forward in assisting these businesses to remain sustainable and even expand their operations so that more jobs can be created.
"The City of Cape Town stands ready to partner with businesses, the other spheres of government, our strategic business partners, and most importantly, our private sector stakeholders, to devise sustainable and inclusive pathways through this economic crisis," Vos said.