KZN informal traders and small businesses to get help with Covid-19 relief applications
The KwaZulu-Natal government and public entity Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) will help informal traders and small businesses to apply for Covid-19 relief funding.
“The KwaZulu-Natal provincial department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and its public entity TIKZN wish to express their support for all businesses and SMMEs who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The national government has set up funds to support various categories of businesses from informal traders, to SMMEs and co-operatives to cope with the financial circumstances they find themselves in.
“EDTEA, through the investSA KwaZulu-Natal One Stop Shop administered by TIKZN, will be assisting businesses in packaging of applications to the various relief funding schemes offered by the national government departments. The One Stop Shop has been designated to be the central point of co-ordination for KwaZulu-Natal business,” TIKZN said on Thursday.
The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council, through their private sector network, are also helping with other services such as IT, legal, marketing and access to financial support. These services will be done on a pro bono basis.
TIKZN board chairperson Ina Cronjé said that for most businesses near-term survival was the only agenda item, while others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed".
“The reality is that the new normal will bring a set of new challenges. While no-one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years. We are pleased that through EDTEA, Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal has been passed the baton to help in facilitating applications for businesses. Our One Stop Shop facility will be the point of contact for these businesses. Our focus is to make every possible means available to help companies to turn around.”
The department of economic development's acting head of department, Sihle Mkhize, said the government understood that small players such as co-operatives and traders, which included street traders and hawkers, had been badly affected.
“We undertake not to leave small players behind, as they play a critical role in our economy. This facility will be extended to those in the informal trade, hence EDTEA’s small-business support programme will play a major role.”
TIKZN said the initiative was made possible through the support of the private sector.
Companies such as LNN Capital and others had offered their services pro-bono and come on board to augment the capacity of the One Stop Shop.
“This pandemic has really hit a number of companies hard and it is important that we assist in the creation of a platform aimed at helping businesses apply for relief.
We do not guarantee the outcome, as the relief measures have their own requirements and screening processes; however, we are trying to help companies manoeuvre through the paperwork and compliance requirements of these instruments. The business community is urged to take advantage of this offering designed to service their needs at a single stop and under one roof.
“I want to thank the private sector and the chamber movement for coming on board in the spirit of ubuntu by providing their services free to help other businesses survive this crisis” said TIKZN CEO Neville Matjie.
All businesses and SMMEs wishing to use the services of the One-Stop-Shop operating under TIKZN may contact TIKZN during office hours, on 031 368 9602 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests can also be logged on http://www.tikzn.co.za/support-desk
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