Here it is! Scroll down to get a link to the official application form for emergency funding to help businesses who are in distress because of the covid-19 pandemic. Small and medium enterprises can finally apply to benefit from the a debt relief fund announced by government last week.
Step 1: Register your business
The very first step is to register your business on www.smmesa.gov.za. It works a bit like Monopoly. Everyone needs to start on the space that says, “Go.” To register your business, you need to complete, amongst others, the company’s registered name, all sorts of details about your employees and your annual turnover.
This follows an announcement before that lockdown by pres. Cyril Ramaphosa that the department of small business development has made funds available to help small businesses with a turnover of less than R50 million per annum. Your business has to be 100% South African owned, and at least 70% of the workforce must be citizens of the country too. Important: you’ll have to prove the impact that covid-19 has had on your business.
Step 2: Complete the official application form
Once you’ve completed your registration you can apply to the covid-19 finance relief fund. The small business development minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, told an inter-ministerial briefing on Tuesday that it would take seven working days to process and SMME’s application for funds for debt relief. If approved, it will take a further five working days to disburse the funds.
Note: you must be tax compliant with SARS to receive assistance. Ntshavheni added, “It also remains imperative that various categories of business in distress continue to be compliant in order to access the tax relief measures that government has put in place to counter the economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic.”
Using the same application form you will have to apply separately to one or both fund options: the business growth/resilience facility; and/or debt-relief finance. Here’s the difference:
The business growth/resilience facility is for SMME’s who are geared to take advantage of supply opportunities resulting from the coronavirus pandemic or shortage of goods in the local market. In other words, you spotted a gap in the market and you need some funds to capitalise on a business opportunity.
Debt-relief finance is for businesses in distress. Brace yourself. You’ll have to answer questions like “Who are your three most recent clients?” and “How do you plan to resuscitate your business?”.