Standard Bank Podcasts: How small businesses can survive Covid-19


Podcast 1: SME challenges

We are currently facing a national pandemic that is changing how we do things and forcing us to adapt to the “new normal”, where business is not usual at all anymore. With a strong focus on social distancing to contain the outbreak of Covid-19, this and other mandatory precaution measures are heavily impacting the output of businesses across the spectrum. It is, however, the smaller enterprises that have ultimately felt it the most.

The reality is that as a country, we must stand together in solidarity and adhere to government’s measures to ensure the safety of staff and customers. We know however, that this is putting immense pressure on small businesses, which are now forced to adapt under already trying circumstances. What will help this temporary transition is considering tools that will help this transition and maintain the continuity of business operations. 

As the lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted and some small businesses commence operations, Simone Cooper, Head of Business Banking at Standard Bank Group, gives some of her best tips on how small businesses can survive in what continues to be a tough economic climate for all.

Podcast 2: The changing business landscape

South African businesses need to prepare and brace themselves for a highly challenging period ahead as the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted day-to-day life and commerce. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet’s announcements of a set of bold measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, including travel bans, school closures and limits to the size of public gatherings.

Although some measures were welcome and played a huge part in saving a lot of lives and protecting the most vulnerable, the negative impact they have had on business is undeniable. The lockdown has had an impact on various sectors as the demand side of the economy has gone down. There is also uncertainty around certain policies and whether they actually serve the businesses they were meant to.

As we see lockdown restrictions slowly being lifted, Craig Polkinghorne, Head of Commercial Banking at Standard Bank Group, gives insight on what we can expect the business landscape to look like post lockdown.

Podcast 3: Sectors most hard hit

Amid efforts by government and the medical sector to mitigate the health impact of the Covid-pandemic, many commercial enterprises are having to change how they do business, as the economic effects of the Coronavirus continue to manifest.

Inevitably, there are some sectors which have experienced adverse side effects from what the continued lockdown. These sectors include tourism, dining, trade and air travel. Due to the lockdown regulations, sectors such as these have been deemed to be non-essential as it was felt continued activity could increase the spread of the virus.

Businesses in these sectors have to ask themselves questions such as: what can we do to optimise demand as lockdown regulations continue to ease? How do I prepare my business for when something similar to this occurs again? Listen to Craig Polkinghorne talk to these concerns and more in this episode, focusing on sectors hard hit by Covid-19.

Podcast 4: Business sectors most at risk and how they can recover

The various business sectors in South Africa have experienced the effects of the lockdown differently. There are those that are, fortunately, in a strong enough position to make it out of this period in good shape, and those who don’t stand a chance and require significant interventions from the banks and government.

As a bank, one of the roles we have to play at this time is to be proactive and ask ourselves how we can show up for the businesses we know are struggling and will continue to for the foreseeable future. This is why we also announced a number of measures when the lockdown began and continue to extend a helping hand to businesses that are most at risk.

In this episode, Craig Polkinghorne discusses how sectors that are most at risk can recover and adjust to what is going to be a new way of doing business.

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