The Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector has called on government to increase their support if these businesses are to survive a sluggish economy and over-indebted consumers.

This comes ahead of the 2019 national budget speech on Wednesday afternoon by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

CEO of Retail Capital, Karl Westvig, says last year President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an outlay of R1.5 billion into a Small Business Fund to be shared among more than 2 million small businesses.

Westvig says the Fund should be increased 20 fold to make any real difference.

Westvig says, “With the country’s balance sheet looking decidedly precarious and Eskom’s saga affecting small businesses as they are unable to trade without power, government has to support the SME sector – the lifeblood of our economy. It has been taking significant strain in the last couple of years.”

Retail Capital is an SME funder that has helped over 6 000 SME businesses in the last year with funding for expansion.