Media Release: We will continue to extend a helping hand to small businesses
For Immediate Release
18 January 2021
Since August 2020 the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with Western Cape and National Governments, rolled out a vast spectrum of unprecedented government interventions support Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME). This was not only done as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to ensure that businesses continue to receive the support they need to keep their doors open.
The draft Garden Route District Economic Recovery Plan is in process of being approved by the GRDM Municipal Managers Forum (MMF), District Coordinating Forum (DCF) and the District Council. It includes interventions relating to various business relief programmes and proposals geared towards assisting the private sector to recover and build back a better society.
One of the exciting initiatives of the GRDM is a Support and Development Programme for SMMEs. The GRDM Council availed half a million Rand to this programme which intends to assist a selected number of businesses with equipment and material before the end of June 2021. A list of recipients will be made available as soon as the selection process has been finalised.
During the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year, the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s (DEDAT) COVID-19 Business Relief Fund was rolled out. This fund provided financial support SMMEs from all corners of the Western Cape, including the Garden Route. This fund was geared towards alleviating the negative economic impact caused by COVID-19 on SMMEs. Relief in the form of financial grants were provided to a number of enterprises.
The Western Cape Department of Economic Department of Tourism also availed R5 million for businesses who form part of the Tourism Industry through an initiative known as the Tourism Product Development Fund. This fund will support the development products and experiences linked to food and beverages, travel and tourism, lodging, and recreation tourism segments. The end goal is to increase visitor trends all over South Africa. The Tourism Product Development Fund offers support to new or existing tourism products and experiences to address gaps and opportunities identified by the draft Tourism Blueprint 2030. GRDM is waiting in anticipation for a list of recipients of the fund.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has also provided support to SMMEs in collaboration with the National Department of Small Business Development. Specific industries such as Spaza shops/general dealers, bakeries and hair dressers continue to receive support from them.
GRDM continues to provide as much support and assistance to businesses as possible through strategic partnerships and structures in collaboration with other spheres of government to ensure that businesses remain able to operate and thrive during these unprecedented economic times.