Watch: Owner of Badges and Signs grateful for Backabuddy crowd funding campaign after looters 'destroyed' his business
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DURBAN - A Howick businessman has thanked the public for crowdfunding donations that will help get his small signage business up and running again, after it was looted and destroyed during the civil unrest in July.
Suveer Pakkoo, 38, owner of Badges and Signs, said his small business was destroyed when looters stole six machines worth an estimated R20 000, and R15 000 in raw material.
FundingHub, an independent marketplace in SA with options from banks and alternative finance providers for SMEs, created a Backabuddy campaign with a target of R45 000 to assist his business recover. To date R 28 700 has been donated by companies and members of the public.
Pakkoo, a father of two, who has been in operation for 15 years said he was thankful that there was no arson attempt at the centre where his business operates.
He was also grateful to the staff who stayed with the company to assist with the rebuilding without earning a salary.
The business has four employees.
Pakkoo said that he had tried to get business insurance a while back but due to an issue with the roof, the insurance company was unwilling to provide cover.
He said he was contacted by the FundingHub to advise him about funding that could be available. He was also grateful for donations from well-wishers.
“For this, I am very grateful. It has brought so much hope to us. We were down in the past two to three weeks but after seeing this and seeing the donations coming through. We are very grateful, so I'd like to say thank you,” he said.
FundingHub which itself donated R6500 earlier this month, said: "We are extremely happy to have played our part in assisting Badges and Signs get back on their feet. We work hard to assist SME's find the funding that they need! Always."
Pakkoo said the donations from the public will assist the business reopen its doors.
“This will help us get up and running soon. We are dedicated, we love what we do and we guarantee you that every cent will be put towards getting us back up and running,” he said.
The business operates on a 50% deposit and the balance is paid on collection. He added that some suppliers affiliated with the signage business had lent him a few machines to continue his operations, and deliver on the jobs that his business was busy with prior to the unrest.
Pakkoo said despite what had happened he had not been willing to quit.
“I’m 38 years of age and have two kids, so I am not at a stage to quit, I have built my business from the start and I am going to see this through. I appreciate that there is still hope out there,” he said.