Applications for finance now open, SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
A LOCAL business owner's turnover may have dropped almost fourfold following a slump three years ago, but he remains confident that things will improve after the National Empowerment Fund approved a R12-million loan to help him out. The loan forms part of an initiative in operation since 2012 between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF). Under the joint initiative, which has seen over R40 million being paid out to small business owners since its inception, the NEF pledges to lend out R1.50 for every R1 the department contributes to the initiative. Applications hit a brief hitch with the NEF's moratorium on lending, which was lifted in April last year and which resulted in applications being held up for nine months. Only applications that had been approved before the moratorium beganwere still being serviced during that time. Applications for funding however have since reopened. Matanzima Mthwa was one of the most recent to benefit funding under the initiative.