Western Cape launches R27m COVID-19 relief fund for micro, small businesses

Image credit: Twitter/David Maynier

The Western Cape provincial government has launched a R27 million COVID-19 Business Relief Fund to aid small and micro businesses affected by the pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, the province’s Economic Development and Tourism Department said the fund will benefit businesses in both the formal and informal sectors.

The department’s spokesperson Francine Higham said, “The fund will provide financial assistance in the form of a financial grant to businesses who can apply to either the formal or informal business category.

“The grant will be used exclusively to subsidise business expenses such as fixed costs, operational costs, supplier debt and other pressure cost items.”

Assistance will be capped at R200,000 per formal business and the funds cannot be used for salaries and wages. However, the number of employees will be considered when adjudicating applications.

For informal businesses, the assistance will be capped at R15,000 per business. “All qualifying (only business-related) expenses should be substantiated with reasonable supporting documents,” the Department said.

Formal businesses

Qualifying criteria

To qualify for the Western Cape COVID-19 Business Relief Fund, formal businesses must be:

  • Tax compliant.
  • Formally registered or incorporated e.g. with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Classified as a micro or small enterprise in terms of the National Small Enterprises Act (Act 102 of 1996 as amended).
  • In formal existence for more than two years;
  • In good financial standing pre-COVID-19 (as at 29 February, 2020).
  • Operating in the Western Cape.
  • 100 percent South African-owned.
  • Able to demonstrate how the business was negatively affected by COVID-19.

Supporting documents

The following supporting documents will be required:

  • Tax clearance certificate or tax compliance status letter or PIN.
  • Copy of company registration documents for registered companies.
  • Annual financial statements for the last two years.
  • Proof of business address.
  • Copy of identity documents of all owners.
  • Payroll report indicating number of employees.
  • Management accounts (income and expenditure for the period January to August 2020).
  • Supporting documents substantiating the funding request.

Informal businesses

Qualifying criteria

To qualify for the Western Cape COVID-19 Business Relief Fund, informal businesses must be:

  • 100 percent South African-owned.
  • Operating in the Western Cape.
  • In possession of a valid municipal trade permit to trade.
  • Operational at the time of applying for assistance.
  • In possession of an active bank account in the applicant’s name.
  • Able to demonstrate how the business was negatively affected by COVID-19.
  • Employ at least one person in addition to the owner.

Required documents

Although tax registration is not a qualifying criterion when applying, applicants are encouraged to register with the SA Revenue Service (SARS), as no funds will be disbursed to business owners that are not registered with SARS.

In addition, the following supporting documents will be required:

  • Copies of Identity documents of all owners.
  • Municipal trading permit.
  • Management accounts or bank statements for the period February to August 2020.
  • Supporting documents substantiating the funding request.

The application deadline is 12 October. For more information on the application process and terms, applicants can visit the official Western Cape COVID-19 Business Relief Fund website here.

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