Standard Bank is now accepting applications for loans under the Covid-19 Loan Scheme for SMEs announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April.
Photo: Karen Sandison African News Agency (ANA)
Standard Bank is now accepting applications for loans under the Covid-19 Loan Scheme for SMEs announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April. Photo: Karen Sandison African News Agency (ANA)

Standard Bank is ready to issue guranteed Covid-19 loans to SMEs

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published May 14, 2020

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DURBAN - Standard Bank is now accepting applications for loans under the Covid-19 Loan Scheme for small and medium enterprises announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April.
 
This follows an announcement yesterday from National Treasury that the scheme is now operational. The Treasury has provided a guarantee of R100 billion to the scheme with the option to increase it to R200 billion if it is necessary and the scheme is successful.

"This guaranteed loan scheme will bolster efforts made in both the private sector and government to aid small business in South Africa. We have been in constant consultation with Government about the implementation of the Scheme and are now ready to receive applications," said Funeka Montjane, Country Executive, Personal and Business Banking South Africa.

Under the scheme business customers with an annual turnover of less than R300 million will now be able to apply for a Covid-19 Term Loan.

A business must also be:

1. In good standing as at 29 February 2020 with their Bank

2. Registered with the South African Revenue Services

3. Have no existing capacity to borrow

4. Negatively impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown and the resultant slowdown in the economy

Funds borrowed through the Scheme can be used for a business’s operational expenses such as salaries, rent, lease agreements and contracts with suppliers. Loans will cover up to three months of operational costs.  Standard Bank customers who want to apply for the loan can do so through accessing the application form on Standard Bank’s Covid-19 Business Term Loan webpages.

"SMEs are integral to our economy and will play an important role in its recovery. It is imperative that we ensure that our SMEs endure operationally throughout this period and the Covid-19 Loan Scheme is a much-needed financial strengthening of what Standard Bank has already committed in assisting SMEs," said Montjane.

Standard Bank Business customers with turnover of less than R20 million per annum have also been automatically offered instalment relief via a three month payment holiday and all Business customers have been offered a range of relief measures, on an opt in basis. 

Standard Bank has also been involved in administering the South African Future Trust (SAFT), which provides relief in the form of a five-year interest free loan for SMMEs, for the purpose of supporting permanent employees of the business. Thus far, over 19000 employees of Standard Bank small business customers are being supported with wage-relief through this scheme. 

The bank is also offering students a Student Loan facility which allows them access to funding for equipment such as laptops/tablets and software, without having to apply for tuition as the primary reason for the loan.

The move comes in response to the ongoing national lockdown and is available to both full-time and part-time students who are currently studying from home.

"While universities have encouraged online learning, many students do not have access to the right equipment to do this, which is why we have decided to design an offering that helps students continue their studies whilst providing them with affordable interest rates. Students can now apply for funding for equipment, such as laptops or tablets, as well as any software they might need at a low interest rate from 7.75 percent, " said Magdeline Thidiela from Standard Bank. 

South African citizens, both existing Standard Bank customers and those who do not bank with us, can apply online using the Standard Bank Student Loan portal, whereby applications will be assessed using the Bank’s normal Student Loan process. The minimum loan amount is R5000 while the maximum is R20000 per annum for equipment.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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