Businesses hoping to recover after lockdown

Those who were not able to work remotely are faced with the reality of downsizing in the near future in order to survive.

Businesses are set for a tough few months, as a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Many have been forced to re-evaluate their business models and their ability to work remotely.

Those who were not able to work remotely are now faced with the reality of down-sizing in the near future in order to survive.

Capital expenditure this year has been scrapped and retrenchments (in a country that had 29 per cent unemployment and 40 per cent structural unemployment before the lockdown) are going to be unavoidable.

For Eastern Gauteng Chamber of Commerce & Industry chairman Mike du Toit, the end of the lockdown cannot come soon enough.

“From a business point of view, it is increasingly difficult to believe that we have acted rationally.

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“We see massive industries idling without making any sales, drying up the life blood of commerce.

“I speak to people in these large companies who tell me they are so unsure of the road ahead.

“Many have reduced salaries to enable them to get through a few months.

“The smaller the businesses, the more desperate things look.

“Our budgets and plans have become irrelevant.”

Numerous local businesses have said they are also struggling with their clients not paying on time as they are trying to hold onto as much cash as possible.

Some reported only being able to collect a third of the moneys owed to them.

Applying for government funding through the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) has produced a mixed bag of results for companies.

Ters provides emergency relief for employers to claim benefits on behalf of their employees during the lockdown.

This is to avoid employees losing income or being placed on annual leave as a result of the temporary closure of their employer’s operations.

Some companies have applied for Ters and received their grant timeously, while others have not received a response.

Paying their metro rates on time is adding to the operational costs and stress for businesses.

None of the businesses The Addie spoke to received any assistance from the metro regarding their rates, instead they reported receiving reminders to pay their bills on time.

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