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Joburg restaurant turns to crowdfunding to pay salaries during lockdown

While government has offered assistance through initiatives such as the SMME debt relief finance scheme, some businesses are being proactive and have turned to their communities for help.

Whippet and Flight Coffee Shop in Johannesburg. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The uncertainty of job security because of COVID-19 has forced companies to rethink their strategies to keep afloat.

But for others, particularly small businesses who’ve been hit hard, they’ve had to rely on the generosity of donations and crowdfunding initiatives.

One such establishment is a Johannesburg-based restaurant, which has been raising money to pay its staff.

While government has offered assistance through initiatives such as the Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) debt relief finance scheme, some businesses are being proactive and have turned to their communities for help.

One such company is the Whippet and Flight Coffee Shop in Johannesburg, which has started a staff fund.

The eatery’s Divan Botha said: “What we’ve realised is, the only way for us to survive this is if everybody works together and we have a realisation that everybody is uncertain. There is a lot of fear, a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of businesses.”

Botha said the store wanted to ensure that the livelihoods of its employees were not compromised during this time.

“We realised that we had to do something immediately so that we can at least ensure that we can pay out some of the salaries in the month of March.”

Businesses have been encouraged to apply for UIF benefits on behalf of their employees, to simplify their pay-out processes.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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