While 75% of small businesses wait for back to business at Level 1 of the Covid-19 pandemic, South African organisations are urged to bank the learnings and continue with the rebuilding process.

In the National Small Business Survey by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC), 93% of small businesses say the most important stand-out learnings are building up liquid cash savings, reducing debt and trimming non-essential spending.

“The short-term outlook for small businesses varies greatly by industry, it’s important to consider what recovery mode will look like once the economy begins to return to a state of normalcy or establishes a new normal,” says Mike Anderson: NSBC dounder & CEO. “Having an exit strategy in place for after Covid-19 can help small businesses prepare well to hit the ground running and begin with the rebuild process.

“The pandemic has also taught us how important it is to be able to adapt and keep businesses fluid to weather storms in the future,” he adds. “The more outside-the-box thinking to prepare for a worst-case scenario, the better. Having a Plan B can help improve every business’s odds of surviving and eventually thriving again during tough financial times.

“Anderson points out that small businesses are vital economic engines. “It is imperative that we bridge businesses through these tough times so small businesses stay in business and that we keep workers employed.”

The Covid-19 Small Business Relief and Recovery Centre, is a national initiative designed to help small businesses by taking their pain away during the pandemic. The initiative is driven by the NSBC in partnership with Health Squared, Telkom, Liberty, Cisco, Absa, Mastercard, Discovery, Vodacom, Google, MTN, NetStar, Xero, Nashua, Incredible Connection, Tarsus and Visa.

Some of the key focus areas includes low-interest disaster recovery loans, moratoriums on vehicle and equipment leases, bond repayments, supplier negotiation and communication, landlord negotiation with regards to property leases, increased cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene protocols, digital marketing strategies, and assistance with business continuity plans.