CAPE Town-based company Retail Capital is stepping up to aid small business owners in Knysna.
The fire has left many businesses damaged and struggling.
After a dispatch team from Retail Capital visited the area, the following statistics were provided:
- The evacuation and displacement of 10000 residents has led to lower expenditure in stock by the retail and hospitality sectors, both needing to be prepared for the Oyster Festival and year-end holiday rush.
- Water shortages due to drought and spraying of fires have put pressure on tourism, the lifeblood of the town. According to the Western Cape government, about 30 tourism establishments were affected by the fires. The subsequent loss of 300 to 400 beds, with only 4000 left available, has also had a negative effect on the economy.
- 2500 job losses – mostly hospitality and domestic – have put further strain on the economy, with 765 people who filled in a survey saying that they needed relief aid.
- The boost in the construction industry – due to a rebuild of over 700 homes and repairs to even more – has put pressure on businesses needing emergency cash flow to fund stock and short-term increases in deploying the services of artisans like plumbers, electricians, builders and bricklayers.
- 38-50% of local consumers were uninsured leading to cash-flow issues.
“Many of these small businesses are in desperate need of short-term funding to bridge their initial cash flow shortages and assist with the rebuilding of the economy,” said CEO of Retail Capital Karl Westvig.
Retail Capital is offering accommodating repayment periods and lower admin fees for business owners in Knysna.
“We’re also calling other suppliers, funders and businesses to give business owners preferential terms or donate 1-2% of its profits to a Knysna Fire Disaster Relief Fund,” said Westvig.
Retail Capital’s lenient terms will allow businesses to restock, refurbish and generate an initial cash flow in order to have a significant turn over.