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Mayor hands over R21 million economic relief assistance to 100 businesses

Date: 2021-10-25 12:05:45

Mayor hands over R21 million economic relief assistance to 100 businesses

HOPE was restored for about 100 small businesses who each received a R30 000 cheque on 13 September at the Durban City Hall’s Council Chambers. The assistance offered to these businesses forms part of the Municipality’s Economic Recovery Fund.

This group of 100 is the first to receive funding of the 700 successful applicants. The fund was established to bring relief to businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Processes to assist the other successful applicants is underway and will be finalised soon. The beneficiaries are across all sectors including spaza shops, salons, retail and flea market, catering, construction, cooperatives, and agribusiness.

Gcinokuhle Dube, 30, of Loxion Tours located in Umkhumbane couldn’t contain his excitement at the cheque handover ceremony. An emotional Dube said: “Finally, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. There was a time where I thought it was over for my business as tourism was hard hit by the pandemic. However, this relief fund has provided me with an opportunity to market and reposition my brand without having to take a loan.” Handing over the cheques to the beneficiaries, eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said: “This is a
great initiative by the Municipality to bring much-needed relief to small businesses that were adversely affectedby the pandemic.”

Mayor Kaunda said the small business sector made a significant contribution to the gross domestic product. “This intervention was important as the nationwide lockdown has had a devasting impact on businesses in the City. This resulted in the loss of approximately R34 billion across all sectors of the economy. An estimated 6000 companies were forced to close, resulting in over 300
000 job losses.” He said eThekwini was the first metro in the country to develop an economic recovery plan to mitigate against the impact of the pandemic.

Mayor Kaunda said R21 million was set aside for the relief package, adding that there are other relief programmes available at the City’s one-stop centre located at the Durban Exhibition Centre.