The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) in a pre-lockdown Covid-19 survey found that about 82% of small businesses, out of thousands asked, were urgently in need of a business continuity plan.
The respondents to the survey indicated that businesses needed low-interest disaster recovery loans, owing to low financial reserves, and innovative strategies to boost customer sales again.
About 90% of respondents indicated they needed urgent cash-flow to sustain their business, 89% reported a drop in sales owing to no or fewer customers, 66% of their import or export trade had been affected, while 61% considered their businesses in a financial crisis.
Twenty-three per cent of respondents had already laid off some off their workforce and say it will increase in the upcoming weeks.
“Cash flow is of vital importance to the health of a small business. Enhanced efforts to encourage and promote best practice between government, larger organisations and their small and medium-sized suppliers will go a long way in ensuring small businesses remain in business and continues to play a major role in growing the South African economy,” says NSBC founder and CEO Mike Anderson.
To play its part in assisting small business, the NSBC has launched the Covid-19 Small Business Relief Centre.
With the collaboration of experts in various business fields, the centre aims to help small businesses weather the current coronavirus storm successfully.
“Small business is the mainstay of our economy and the future of job creation. We need fast action to help the thousands of small businesses suffering the impacts the pandemic.
“More than two-thirds of the working force work in a small business today. This is why we need to make sure we bridge businesses through these tough times,” Anderson points out.