SMEs have heard a lot of positive noise about various programmes designed to potentially help them to buffer their businesses against the economic ravages being wreaked by Covid-19. However, there is frustration and uncertainty around the difficulties in finding these programmes, accessing their webpages, or how each one works and how to apply.
For this reason, finance company Spartan SME Finance has created a Covid-19 Relief Registry as a public service to all SMEs. It will provide practical guidance and lay out the details of each initiative.
The financial relief announcements have been somewhat of a healing balm to the ears of entrepreneurs, and the swift reactions and proactivity of the SA Government and the Private Sector in putting these lifelines in place is highly commended.
“As with any crisis, timing is always critical and many of these programmes are understandably still being operationalized,” says Kumaran Padayachee, Spartan SME Finance CEO. “As a debt funder ourselves, we know the pain many SMEs are experiencing right now and wanted to provide a free valuable relief resource that any SME can tap into to assess: if they can apply for relief, how to go about applying, what to expect, and the nuts and bolts of each offering”.
The Covid-19 Relief Registry is a work in progress. “Relief initiatives typically go through the phases of announcement, followed by development, and then they put the operations in motion – this includes processing applications – which is at the heart of what small business owners want to know right now,” says Padayachee.
For now Spartan has categorised the various programmes and mechanisms into SME relief funding; essential services; SARS; employees; and individuals. “With new initiatives being announced regularly, we will continue to build and add to the Covid-19 Relief Registry day by day,” explains Padayachee. It is the type of registry business owners need to keep going back into daily, to find the updates as the details of each programme unfold.