Many business owners are faced with the harsh reality to keep their businesses afloat in these very uncertain and unusual times while still adhering to their obligations to their employees. In this short article, we have summarized the various relief initiatives and crisis funding that are available to you as a business owner.

Temporary Relief Scheme (COVID19TERS)

The benefit is de-linked from the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s normal benefits and will only pay for the cost of salary for the employees during the temporary closure of the business operations.

Businesses can apply for the COVID19TERS Benefit from the UIF by sending an email to covid19ters@labour.gov.za where you will be prompted with further instructions.

SMME Relief Finance 

The Department of Small Business Development’s relief fund is in the form of soft loans for existing business, registered with CIPC, SARS and UIF. Interest rate of prime less 0,5%.

Visit: www.smmesa.gov.za

South African Future Trust (SAFT) 

Created by the Oppenheimer’s, this funding allows SMMEs to apply for an interest-free loan via approved partner banks (ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank), in order to keep their employees during this crisis.  

Find more information here:  https://opp-gen.com/saft/#how-saft-works

Sukuma Relief Fund – Business Partners

At this time the fund is temporarily closed as it has hit capacity.  But visit the website for more information or news.

https://finance.businesspartners.co.za/welcome-to-the-sukuma-relief-programme/

Payment Holidays from Banks

Standard Bank

Standard Bank has a scheme that will support SME’s with a payment holiday for 90 days (01 April 2020 until 30 June 2020).

For more visit them here: https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/business/covid-19#covidDebtReliefTabs.

Absa

Find out more about Absa’s 3 month non-payment period here:

https://www.absa.co.za/personal/covid-19/covid-19-payment-relief-plan/

FNB

FNB’s assistance will be executed in a phased approach, for their 3-month assistance go here: https://www.fnb.co.za/realhelp/for-my-business/cash-flow-relief.html

Nedbank

Information of how Nedbank can assist you can be found here: https://nedbank.co.za/content/nedbank/desktop/gt/en/business/covid-19-relief1/Overview1.html

Tax Breaks (no penalties on 20% PAYE defer)

Funding for enterprises with a turnover less than R50million may defer payment of 20% of their employees PAYE, for 4 months 1 April to 31 July.  The first repayment must be on 7 September and will happen in equal instalments for the next 6 months.

Visit SARS for more:  https://www.sars.gov.za/Media/Pages/CoronaVirus.aspx

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