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A new dawn has set for 54 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) within the Chris Hani District Municipal area of jurisdiction.

CHDM awarded grant funding to small businesses across the district to help them expand their business footprint and further enhance local economic development. These grants were conferred to selected business owners during the Chris Hani Month Commemoration in April based on applications that met set criteria.

An advert was placed on local newspapers inviting all interested businesses to apply for CHDM’s SMME grant funding. Over 300 applications were received and 54 enterprises got selected. As per CHDMs adopted Funding Model the municipality provides the required support based on the needs of respective SMMEs and does not transfer any funds to these.

The main objective of the Funding Model is to empower entrepreneurs, ensure creation of sustainable enterprise development, contribute towards job creation and assist in advancing regional economy.

Youth, women and people with disabilities were among those awarded the funding support. Their focus varies as some are in printing, brick making etc.  Ms Namhla Kente of Sizukisile General Trading Cooperative which operates in Kundulu village, one of the recipients of the funding, was supported with R100 000 towards required material. The support was well received as capital has been a struggle for many small businesses and some battle to acquire required machinery for their businesses to thrive, this was confirmed by a number of beneficiaries. Ms Kente said “we make bricks and it is now time to produce massively. We need local contractors and retailers to support us and not go to other areas to get bricks. We are glad that our application was received positively by the District Municipality”.

The awarding process is clearly outlined in the Funding Model as follows; the district calls for applications for funding, a Selection Committee is established to scrutinize and make a ruling on applications, after beneficiaries are selected physical verification of all businesses is undertaken to ascertain accuracy of information provided by the applicant. When an application has been successful a Service Level Agreement is entered into between CHDM and the respective enterprise and constant monitoring and reporting is carried out by the district municipality.

The next funding season will be opened in the next financial year (2019/20) and an advertisement detailing requirements for the next funding batch will be published calling all interested enterprises to apply.

Issued by CHDM Communications Unit