As the impact of the lockdown in South Africa takes effect, SimplyBiz, powered by South African banking group Nedbank, has launched the BackaBusiness movement, with crowdfunding platform Thundafund, to drive support for businesses hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monique Chinnah, senior manager: Segment Design and Development at Nedbank, said COVID-19 has dealt entrepreneurs a major blow, however, the impact and the continuing threat to small businesses has inspired the company to help with BackaBusiness. “This is another innovative and relevant way that Nedbank is assisting small businesses during this challenging time,” Chinnah said. “Since the lockdown, small businesses have had no income, but mounting operational expenses, and some did not qualify for traditional funding nor certain relief aids available.”
Naturally, added Chinnah, small businesses are overwhelmed and anxious about the future of their businesses. “This is an opportunity for people to show their support for small businesses to ensure their survival,” she said. “We’re encouraging loyal customers, family and friends and society at large to join the movement to PAY now and REDEEM a reward from the business owner, once trading resumes.”
An example of a reward could be paying your hairdresser R200 through the campaign, and they will offer a voucher in return for a haircut when they reopen.
“This enables the business to receive much-needed funds now to see them through until they can operate again. It also means that when the business resumes, they have guaranteed customers visiting their store to redeem their vouchers, thereby flattening the curve, post the lockdown,” Chinnah pointed out.
She noted that these entrepreneurs do not make up mere statistics – they comprise local restaurants, gym instructors and many small businesses.