As South Africans have adapted to the effects of the national lockdown, one crucial sector of our economy has been pushed into the limelight: small to medium-size businesses. If it wasn’t clear before, it is more than apparent that we owe a lot to small businesses. Not just for their significant contribution to creativity and innovation, but also the significant role they play in our economy and towards the livelihoods of millions of South Africans.
Did you know? SMMEs comprise 90% of formal businesses and contribute around 34% to South Africa’s gross domestic product.*
However, in an effort to curb the spreading of covid-19, these businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them have faced some crippling challenges. The results of a recent Yoco merchant survey have shown up to a 90% decrease in in-person transactions since the lockdown began.
The Yoco Support Small Business Directory
One of these products is the Yoco Support Small Business Directory. The Directory includes hundreds of businesses who are able to indicate whether they are still trading, accept gift vouchers or list themselves to improve their discoverability online. With many small business owners unfamiliar with online channels, navigating this unfamiliar territory can be daunting. We wanted to ease the burden of this transition by opening up limited commerce and assisting merchants in increasing their online visibility.
The Yoco Directory allows these businesses to increase their online presence as well as attract new customers. For Yoco merchants who are not yet able to trade due to government regulations, the directory provides them with the visibility and opportunity to accept donations, process vouchers and prepare them for the time when they will be fully operational. (Small business owners who are not Yoco merchants are able to link to donation or voucher pages, as well as to their websites or social media.)
The directory does not only serve these businesses, but also you and I as consumers. Instead of trawling social platforms for hours to find out which businesses are currently trading, they can now be easily found all listed in one place. You are able to search by province and by industry, making finding unique and new small businesses to support that much easier. You can make a donation or buy a gift voucher which will go a long way to keeping their cash flow coming in.
It is now easier than ever before, to support your favourite small businesses at a time when they need it most. With the diverse and exciting range of entrepreneurs and products listed on our directory, purchasing your daily and winter essentials online is a unique and exciting experience. Not only will you be supporting someone’s small business dream by buying from them, but you will also experience each of their products for their uniqueness from packaging, personalised thank you notes or ecstatic businesses owners who deliver their products themselves. Now is the opportunity to connect to our economy in a way you may never have before.
Are you a small business owner? Create a listing for your business on our directory, whether you're trading now, or planning to re-open in later levels.
If you’re a Yoco merchant and registered on the directory, don’t forget to enable one of our online payment methods help shoppers spend with you even if they can’t visit your store. Click here for more.