The deep challenges facing small businesses are expected to worsen until lockdown reaches level-2 and level-1, when most small businesses will get back to some form of normality.

A survey by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) canvassed thousands of small businesses throughout the country, providing insights into the catastrophic effects of the level-5 lockdown period.

“One of the disturbing challenges facing small businesses is the inability for small businesses to access relief-funding,” says Mike Anderson: National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) founder and CEO. “The survey revealed that of the 53% of small businesses that applied for relief-funding, only 6% of the applicants received funding. Reasons cited for this range from poor or no-response, unnecessary qualifying criteria and lengthy tedious processes.

“Ninety-four percent of small businesses stated that they are either now in a cash-flow crisis or will be within the next 30 days. Government urgently needs to remove all the red-tape and speed up the relief-funding processes and make this funding available to all small businesses throughout the nation.

“Further disturbing insights into the survey reveals that 63% of small businesses have already and expect to lay-off workers within the next 30 days. Only 8,5% of small businesses are back to normal at Level-4 and more than 75% will only be back to normal at Level-2 and Level-1, the most being at Level-1”, Anderson adds.

Key figures from the survey include:

* 8,5% are back to normal at Level-4

* 75% will be back to business at Level-2 and Level-1

* 53% applied for relief-funding
* 6% who applied for relief-funding were successful

* 94% are either in a cash-flow crisis situation or will be within the next few weeks

* 63% have laid-off their workforce or expect to do so within the next few weeks

* 79% expect not to survive the pandemic or are unsure

* 53% state that government is not communicating effectively with regards to lockdown regulations and restrictions

* 57% are confused as to what their businesses can or can’t do during lockdown levels.

The Covid-19 Small Business Relief Centre was recently launched by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) to assist small businesses during this crisis. With the collaboration of experts in various business fields, this centre hopes to help small businesses weather the current coronavirus storm successfully.

“Our plea to government is to communicate more effectively, eliminate all confusion and bring detailed clarity of how and when small businesses can get back to business. Importantly, fine-tune and speed up the relief funding processes and make this funding available to all small businesses through the nation” concludes Anderson.