Retail Capital CEO Karl Westvig. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - Cape-based small and medium-sized enterprises funder Retail Capital and asset finance firm First Asset have joined forces to offer more support to small businesses across South Africa that are growing despite a tough economic climate.

With banks being very tight on the rules and the support they provide for small businesses, Retail Capital has offered almost R2 billion in loans to date to around 10,000 such entities, predominantly retailers and restaurants.

“If banks are not helping to boost SMEs with funding, it is up to non-bank lenders to take up that slack,” chief financial officer Guy Hosking said. 

The funder's CEO Karl Westvig said any business that invested in growth would survive despite the state of the economy.

“Tough economic times by no means indicate that you should stop investing in your business. In fact, it’s even more reason to make changes to boost your business’s growth ‒ whether it’s refurbishing, acquiring new assets, expanding your premises or building on the marketing of your product," he said.

The partnership will provide SMEs with funding options in various areas of their business. 

Retail Capital’s core funding product is a shorter term, unsecured and more expensive product, while First Asset Finance offers secured funding for the long-term at a lower cost. 

First Asset Finance has provided asset finance to more than 2,500 business owners throughout South Africa to date, director Mark Dowson said.

Historically, the company has predominantly served the medical sector, but took a strategic decision to replicate its product for other industries such as manufacturing, packaging, engineering and printing. 

“By joining the Retail Capital team, this now provides us with a springboard into their vast network of customers and partners who require an asset based finance product to enable their businesses to grow," Dowson said.

- African News Agency (ANA)