Alternative lender Merchant Capital has announced a payment holiday for the majority of its client base, which comprises thousands of small businesses, for the duration of the national lockdown to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Merchant Capital founder and CEO, Dov Girnun, said the payment holiday would apply to all small businesses deemed non-essential under the lockdown regulations.
Essential businesses will see their repayments reduce in line with any reduced turnover and Merchant Capital will be supporting these essential businesses with working capital to ensure they have sufficient stock and resources to fulfil customer demand. Businesses that do not want to defer their payments can choose to opt out.
The initiative will run for the duration of the lockdown, from 27 March to 16 April, after which collections will resume as before.
“It’s safe to say that the challenges the South African small business sector currently face are of epic proportions. While the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic remains unclear, we are all in uncharted territory.
“Together, we must remain committed to our customers and partners, and more than ever, provide a support system to vulnerable businesses,” said Girnun.
Girnun said the decision would have ‘massive implications’ for his business, which itself was founded only seven years ago. “But we believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is the right decision. During this unprecedented time, we are focused on supporting our small business community.”