It’s the eve of the beginning of the national lockdown in South Africa, as citizens get ready to hibernate for 21 days, getting your small business ready for this difficult period is going to be crucial. During the Covid-19 lockdown, only businesses that render essential services or products can operate for the duration of the national lockdown. This means that many small, medium and micro enterprises with no financial safety net will suffer the most.
If you foresee difficulties that your small business will run into during the Covid-19 national lockdown, you are now able to register and seek government assistance. How do you register your business for the Coronavirus small business relief fund? There’s a dedicated website where you can register your business for financial or non-financial government assistance. You can specify what assistance your company requires.
Register here: http://www.smmesa.gov.za/
Businesses that provide essential services and products need to apply for certification through CIPC’s Essential Service Business portal. The CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) needs to approve that the business is, in fact, an essential service provider and grant operation approval. It’s a simple registration process and the CIPC will issue your business with a certificate stating that your business is allowed to operate during the 21 day lockdown period.
Register here: http://www.bizportal.gov.za/
Here are a few things to remember:
- You are only allowed to leave your house if you are performing an essential service, collecting social grant, seeking emergency medical assistance, obtaining an essential service or goods
- If you fall under essential services, you need to carry an official document/permit that states that you are approved to operate or be on the streets
Here is a list of essential services that will continue to operate during the lockdown: