It is back to business for some as the nationwide lockdown gradually moves down a level with strict restrictions still in place. As the lifeline of the economy, businesses have rallied their troops to ensure the supply and demand of products and services are delivered to their customers.
In making sure that SMME’s are not left short-changed during the lockdown, the Department of Small Business Development established a Debt Relief Fund to assist small businesses on existing debts. SMMEs are encouraged to register on the SMME South Africa portal which went live in March 2020.
While the government has given a helping hand, citizens can actively play their part to guarantee that our economy keeps running despite the pandemic having the country under siege. Successfully moving towards an economic recovery post COVID-19, becomes a responsibility for all who live in the Republic. This means supporting local businesses now more than ever before. Buying local means that you are patriotic, you guard the importance of investing in the country, economic growth and you contribute to job retention and creation.
Supporting local may not look the same ever again. While the government has begun the phased re-opening of sectors in our economy, our support to local vendors, entrepreneurs may need to take on a different approach as business models change.
During this Africa month, how about you buy something that reminds you of the beautiful diverse cultures, food and music that lies within our continent.
- Support online stores – Buy from local platforms such as rsamade.co.za , a Proudly South African online e-commerce platform that provides an outlet for products that are locally manufactured.
- Word-of-mouth is still key, do a Facebook referral (if you’ve received great service, let people know about it)
- Attend (paid) online concerts of local musicians
- Pledge to wear local brands every Friday, for example (even at home!)
- Buy-now-use-later strategy. This could include buying gift vouchers to redeem at a later stage.
“It is proven the world over that thriving economies are built on the back of SMMEs. These businesses are crucial in creating jobs”, said Proudly South African CEO, Eustace Mashimbye, at the Buy Local Summit.
Here are truthful reasons why buying local is lekker, according to Tan, a Cape Town-based company that produces affordable, locally produced leather bags.
- Nurture nature: Less importing entails, a lower carbon footprint. It’s as simple as that.
- Transparent trading: When you buy locally, you know what you are getting. Therefore, there are many ethical reasons to do so. With home-grown goods, it is much easier to trace the origins of material and to know under what circumstances products are manufactured. People, animals and the environment are protected this way.
- Direct delivery: When you buy online from a nationally-based business, you sidestep many complications regarding shipment. Delivery is mostly quicker and there is no hidden import tax. Furthermore, when you purchase from abroad, returns and customer support become complicated (or even impossible!).
- Refined relevance: Local products are designed with you in mind! They are created to meet local needs, they are fit for the local climate and tend to abide by local trends.
Share some of your favourite local brands with us on Twitter: @Brand_SA
Additional source: https://tangoods.com/7-real-reasons-why-local-is-lekker/