The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) says it is again providing financial assistance to small businesses to help them overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their operations during the current financial year.
"Small businesses that are still reeling from the financial blow they were dealt by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting national lockdowns can try to access the assistance offered by Sefa. In addition to giving a financial lifeline to thousands of small businesses across this country, we are also introducing creative new ways to extend finance," the agency said on April 26.
Finance is offered to qualifying businesses in a range of sectors such as services including retail, wholesale and tourism; manufacturing including agroprocessing, agriculture, albeit specifically land reform beneficiaries and contract-farming activities; construction; and green industries including water, energy and waste.
Over the past financial year, Sefa, in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development and the Small Enterprise Development Agency, introduced the Blended Finance Programme, which offers a combination of a grant and a loan to small businesses.
South African citizens or permanent residents who have a fixed physical address can apply for funding for their small businesses from Sefa.
Registered business owners should also have a business plan suited to Sefa’s loan application requirements, a valid tax clearance certificate and the ability to repay the Sefa loan. These basic requirements form part of a longer list on how small-business owners can access funding with Sefa.
Small business owners are encouraged to complete the questionnaire on Sefa’s website, which will help to match business owners with Sefa’s offerings. If a match is not possible, Sefa will recommend alternative forms of assistance.
"In an effort to alleviate the pressures on small business owners, Sefa continues to honour its core function, which is to foster the establishment, development and growth of small, medium-sized and microenterprises and cooperatives, and to contribute towards poverty alleviation, job creation and economic growth.
"This has been maintained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns in South Africa," the agency said in a statement.