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City partners with Productivity SA to assist businesses in distress

City partners with Productivity SA to assist businesses in distress

by City of Cape Town
4 May 2020

The City’s Business Hub is currently in the process of finalising an agreement with Productivity SA called the Business Support Programme aimed to assist businesses in distress.

To assist businesses and entrepreneurs, the City established The Business Hub, which is an initiative by the Department of Enterprise and Investment. I am proud to say that during the past six weeks we have demonstrated our ability to respond and adapt to the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

To adapt to the ‘new normal’ The Business Hub adapted its structure and way of working by moving operations online so it could best assist the economy and businesses adapt to the disruptions flowing from the COVID-19 crisis.  This has allowed us to provide clarity on lockdown regulations and assist businesses in making sense of the variety of different relief packages available as well as assisting in accessing it.

Since the nation went into the lockdown and our economy essentially ground to a halt, my team and I have been hard at work responding to this crisis by providing businesses with credible information, supporting businesses by lobbying national government to expand the criteria to qualify for relief funding and designing plans on recovery so Cape Town is best positioned to bounce back from the consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

In this time, the Business Hub has responded to over 350 service requests from businesses and residents.

Enquiries have been received from all across the Western Cape and, surprisingly Gauteng. The majority of enquiries have been from Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and sole proprietors and relate to:

  1. Clarification around essential services registration; and
  2. Relief in terms of business finance, UIF, taxes and rates relief.

I am excited to announce that we are currently in the process of finalising an agreement with Productivity SA, called the Business Support programme.

The objective of the Business Support Programme is to assist businesses in distress by creating a mechanism which will support them to proactively address the challenges they are confronted with and prevent possible liquidation, closure or job losses.

I encourage businesses who need guidance or assistance due to the lockdown measures necessitated by COVID-19 to contact us on 021 417 4043 or email the Business Hub on business.support@capetown.gov.za

We are constantly engaging with our business network to determine immediate needs and to assist with channelling businesses towards the appropriate sphere of government for assistance.

Last week, the Economic Task Team which I established to co-ordinate and streamline the City’s economic response, released the City’s Economic Action Plan. The full EAP can be accessed here.  This plan details the first steps towards a recovery.

As we grapple with a new level of lockdown, our focus is on supporting SMMES, ensuring business retention and even expansion, by taking advantage of the opportunities every crisis presents. We need to be responsive to new supply and demand dynamics, to ensure our industries are best-placed to thrive and receive the support they need.

The City of Cape Town stands ready to partner with the other spheres of government, our Strategic Business Partners, and most importantly our private sector stakeholders to devise sustainable pathways through this economic crisis.

Our economy is diverse and resilient and by bringing its adaptability and innovation to the fore, I am convinced we will overcome these new challenges.

End
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Cell: 076 277 3351, Email: 
james.vos@capetown.gov.za (always copy media@capetown.gov.za

Tags: COVID-19 coronavirus City of Cape Town