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Lea Blesses Smmes With P1, 000 Each

PAULINE DIKUELO
Lea Blesses Smmes With P1, 000 Each
The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is assisting informal businesses ravaged by COVID-19 to find their feet by offering them P1, 000 each in grants.

The funds are part of the P100 million allocated to LEA from the Industry Support Facility (ISF), which was launched by the Ministry of Investment and Trade Industry as part of the Economic Recovery Transformation Plan.

LEA’s head of Corporate Affairs and Market Access, Boikhutso Kgamanyane said the grant was aimed at assisting the informal sector businesses to revive their operations.

“LEA has been sending smses to the registered businesses to apply at their offices across the country. For one to get the sms, they need to have registered with LEA and the registration is still ongoing,” she said. For a business to benefit from the grant, the owner needs to bring a certified copy of Omang, a Hawkers licence or an affidavit from the Police or Chief that the business was indeed operating before COVID-19. Last year, LEA embarked on a national initiative to register informal and formal Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) operating locally with the objective of developing a centralised database. The database will be instrumental in the decision-making around how the COVID-19 financial interventions from government

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and other organisations can be properly channelled. “We are currently assisting those who have registered with us last year. However, registration is still ongoing,” Kgamanyane added. According to LEA, the registration is useful in helping government plan interventions for the informal sector and SMMEs. Those wishing to register do not have to be registered for tax or registered elsewhere. In addition, people employed full time but running informal businesses can also apply to register. A recent snap survey by LEA found that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected most of the small businesses assisted by the authority. According to a survey of 382 companies, 63% had suspended operations. The sampled companies also reported average drops in monthly revenue of 47%. The SMMEs still operating were struggling with importation of raw materials and the inability to pay fixed costs such as rent, salaries, loans to mention a few.

Through the ISF, about P1.3 billion has been made available to firms and individuals through development finance institutions like LEA, Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Authority, National Development Bank and Botswana Development Corporation.



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