Standard Bank announces relief measures for businesses hit by coronavirus

Standard Bank has introduced new relief measures for businesses hit by the coronavirus – including a Coronavirus Business Interruption Payment Scheme which will provide payment relief to your business for 90 days.

In a statement posted on its website, Standard Bank said the scheme will launch on the 1 April 2020 and will support small and medium-sized business with a payment holiday.

Standard Bank said that clients are eligible for the scheme if:

  • Your business is South African based, with a turnover of no more than R20 million per year.
  • Your Business Current account, Bizlaunch account and Business Lending accounts are paid up to date.
  • Your business is in good standing.

“We will set up automatic new payment terms for all our clients with a turnover of less than R20 million per annum, who are up to date with their payments as at the end of March 2020 and are in good standing with Standard Bank,”  the group said.

“If you do not wish to change your payment arrangements, please contact your Banker or email [email protected] urgently.”

Standard Bank said it will still help clients that do not meet the eligibility requirements under the new scheme. You can find more information here.

New fund

The Department of Small Business Development is also establishing a debt relief fund to help mitigate the impact of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus on small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs).

Small business minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that the fund is aimed at providing relief on existing debts and repayments.

“For SMMEs to be eligible for assistance under the debt relief fund, the applicant must demonstrate the direct link of the impact or the potential impact of Covid-19 on business operations,”  Ntshavheni said.

“This facility will also assist entities to acquire raw material, pay labour and operational costs. All these interventions will be structured to match the patterns of the SMMEs cash flows, as well as the extent of the impact suffered.”

  • To strengthen monitoring and avoid abuse, businesses requiring assistance will be required to enrol on the SMME South Africa platform here.
  • This platform will go live on Tuesday, 24 March 2020.

In future, the database will also be used to apply for both financial and non-financial support, access information about business opportunities, and access market opportunities, Ntshavheni said.

“As the nation grapples with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the department will be guided by the National Command Council in determining the sectors that are deemed severely impacted in order to qualify for the debt relief fund.”

Read: Ramaphosa to address the nation on Sunday over coronavirus

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Standard Bank announces relief measures for businesses hit by coronavirus