COVID-19 Business Support Review

During this crisis what has been highlighted for most business owners is the access to resources and information available to assist with general, business and financial information.  Whether you are a sole proprietor or registered business, no business owner can know it all and have the time to research the required information.  We have all been bombarded with notifications, offers of assistance, some of which is applicable but most is not and having to navigate our way through in the quickest possible time without missing crucial information.

While we also don’t have all the answers, we are happy to share some of the research undertaken which may be of assistance to our Industry Partners and diving community.
The government initiatives, while great in theory are mired in sometimes difficult to understand documentation.

Access to the Tourism Relief Fund specifies that this only open to enterprises with a B-BBEE rating.  This rating is easily achieved and all operators classed as EME’s (exempted micro enterprises) with a turnover >R10m p.a are eligible to submit a sworn affidavit confirming their turnover and enterprise shareholding.  Enterprises with no B-BBEE shareholding and within the financial criteria will automatically be classified as LEVEL 4.

1. Tourism: Easy Guide for Amended Tourism B-BBEE

2. B-BBEE Registration

3. Department of Tourism Relief Fund

While the assistance is only open to operations with a BBEEE rating this should not prevent any company from applying. Refer to 1 & 2 above.

4. UIF claims via the TERS portal

Companies/organisations need to be registered with UIF and in good standing to access this benefit.  Applications for assistance are based on a sliding scale between 38-60% of employee earnings.  Benefits may be paid to the employer or directly to the employee.  However, in the event of the company wishing to top-up the earnings, they will need the employee to confirm amounts received.

Claims via TERS need to be submitted before 30 April 2020.

5. South African Future Trust (SAFT) Assistance

This financial assistance is offered to qualifying SMME’s in order to prevent their permanent employees losing their jobs.  This is based on a 5-year interest free loan and is entered into between the employer and the FUND.  This loan must be settled by 31 December 2025.  Terms and conditions will be made available on successful application.

If approved, the fund will make weekly payments directly to the employee of R750 pw for 15 weeks.  There is no limit to the number of permanent employees that can receive funding.

This fund is administered via all major banks and applications forms are available on their websites.

6. Sukuma Relief Programme

The programme provides a non-repayable grant of R25k to qualifying businesses.  Business must be tax and regulatory compliant and registered with CIPC.  The programme is currently closed due to over-subscription but may be opened again at a later date.

This programme is run under Business Partners and allows for a once-off R25k non-repayable grant as well as unsecured loans of between R250k-R1m structured over 5 years.

7. Disaster Management Tax Relief Benefits for SMME’s

Turnover <R50m, SARS registered and tax compliant.

This is assistance provided for the deferral of PAYE liability, delay in provisional tax payment. Information is available on the SARS website.

8. National Small Business Chamber

This is a good platform with hands on tips and webinars.  They offering incentives to join their organisation.

9. COBRA War Room

This organisation provides assistance to distressed businesses.  In order to sustain South African businesses through the Covid-19 crisis they provide free services to help receive co-ordinated bank, government and stakeholder support.  They have extensive legal, accounting, technology and business turnaround experience.

10. The new relief initiatives announced by President Ramaphosa on 21 April have yet to be finalised and published.  We can look forward to further assistance which will be updated as it is made available.

Mention should be made that all banking institutions have also put measures of assistance in place.  This assistance can be accessed by contacting your bankers and requesting guidance for access to their facilities.  

Most applications for assistance will require that one’s tax affairs are in good order.  This should however not preclude the decision to apply for assistance.

Please note that no organisation or any link provided here is specifically endorsed by DAN SA and we take no responsibility for any information provided by these links
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