Support struggling SMME’s in these tough times
With the announcement that South African scientists had identified a new Covid-19 variant, everything came crashing down. The UK was the first to close to borders to us and were followed by many other countries. The fact that the variant had been detected in other countries, with far higher Covid numbers than SA, yet no travel restrictions had been put in place on those countries – is a story for another day.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation shortly afterwards and by that time, some countries were reconsidering their travel restrictions – but damage had already been done. Many tour guides, air b+b’s, hotels and restaurants had already reported thousands of rands worth of cancellations.
The reality is that the tourism industry, as well as many other industries – are once again going to be hard hit by what has happened. So as always, my appeal to you is to support our local SMME’s in this difficult time.
Here is how you can support our small businesses:
- Practice patience: If you are prepared to stand in a queue in a large retail store, be considerate to the fact that small businesses can’t afford huge staff contingents and show some patience
- Don’t ask for discount: Do you ask for discount from the giant retail stores and large service providers? I don’t think so! So don’t do it with small businesses. Respect the time, efforts and expertise of those in our communities
- Share things on social media and by word of mouth: Not everyone is financially in the position to buy from a small business, but that does not mean that you can’t support in other ways. Share promotional posts on social media and tell people if you’ve come across a good product or service.
- Good food takes time: Many in our communities have really shown true entrepreneurial spirit, followed their passion and opened up in the food space. From catering to food trucks, and take-aways – our people are stepping up to serve us. If you are prepared to wait on the Waterfront for your meal – then please be prepared to do the same at a community eatery.
- Visit pop-up stores and local markets: Getting local businesses in one place, over a short period of time offers consumers a larger variety of products and choice. Support these efforts of organisers and vendors.
- Become a tourist in your own city: Many tour guides have great one-day packages that can show you your city through a different lens. Also, it’s great to just sit back and relax and take the scenic route – even if it’s just for a day.
- Be kind: Everyone is fighting some sort of battle right now.
I encourage you to seek out our community businesses and support them. I will never tell you to accept below standard services and products – but I sincerely believe that the majority of our community based businesses offer the same, if not better services and products than the large chain stores. So if our businesses are creating employment and servicing our needs, whilst complying with Covid- 19 protocols – please support them. It’s the right thing to do.