Small, Medium and Macro Enterprises (SMMEs) retailers doing business in malls are struggling to keep their businesses open.

Mall owners say they have seen an increase in SMMEs closing shops in major malls across the country as they struggle to pay rent.

SMMEs affected include those in beauty, fashion as well as personal and hospitality industries.

SMME retailers occupy less than 50% of rental space in most shopping malls.

“The economic impact of this virus is having an impact and if you think about it, restaurants, gyms they haven’t been able to open at all under the current regulations. So we are talking about the 15 %  that are small and medium enterprises that occupy these malls. Often they are restaurants and personal service providers. Because of the relief that landlords have provided many of them are surviving and only once the regulations are lifted we will know what the damage has been,” says Chief Executive Officer of Growthpoint properties Estienne de Klerk.

In the video below, small business struggle to deal with challenges posed by the coronavirus:

Debt relief scheme

The Department of Small Business has approved R513 million in SMME Debt Relief Funding.  30 865 small businesses applied for the debt relief scheme and so far 1 497 SMMEs have been approved for funding.

The Scheme, which opened for applications in April, is set to assist SMMEs with working capital as economic activities have been negatively affected by COVID-19.