Tough times ahead but plans in progress and online platforms running to assist SMMEs
25 March 2020
STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS.
I welcome the announcements by President Ramaphosa last night. The measures are necessarily extreme and the impact on our economy will be severe, there is no sugar-coating this. Already our local economy, the tourism and hospitality sectors specifically, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
This morning I wrote to the Minister of Small Business Development to offer our support and assistance, through my Department of Enterprise and Investment, in administering the relief packages. I also requested clarity on what the qualifying criteria for SMMEs to access emergency funding are and I look forward to her response so I can share it with businesses in Cape Town.
There are no quick fixes and one thing is clear, this crisis calls for innovation and smart solutions as we brace ourselves for the economic and social impact of the outbreak. In order to co-ordinate and streamline the City’s economic response, two task teams, one on tourism and the other on the economy have been established, initiated by myself as the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.
Much work has already been done. These teams are gathering information to assess the scale of the impact of the pandemic including sector specific impacts so we are best placed to understand what kind of assistance will be most effective. Based on the facts, these teams are developing responses, action plans will be implemented and work on our recovery plans will begin.
The City’s Business Hub has been repurposed to provide real-time support and advice to our local businesses and industry, including Frequently Asked Questions across sectors. This action is supported by Wesgro the City of Cape Town’s investment and promotion agency.
We will also keep you up to date through The City’s business brand, Invest Cape Town, where you can find key information on how we are supporting and advising businesses. Many resources are available and businesses can access downloadable resources such as informational posters https://www.investcapetown.com/invest-cape-town-coronavirus-response-support-and-advice-for-business-and-industry/
While we face uncertain times ahead, as a responsive, caring and resilient City, we are hard at work developing responses to this crisis for the various sectors and I look forward to communicating on the way forward soon.