Small businesses relish opportunity to make money as restrictions eased on Level 3 lockdown

SMEs need to do proper research on the mandate of funders before taking on a business loan – and not apply at the last minute, when they may be forced to accept less favourable terms. Image: iStock

Tucker says it is a relief that real estate agents are able to make an income again.

As the country enters Level 3 of the lockdown, business owners are relishing the opportunity to make some money again after being forced to close for just over two months.

Monday saw more sectors begin to open their doors as regulations were relaxed on Level 3 of the lockdown.

These sectors include construction, the liquor industry and real estate. Business owners are eager to get back to the grindstone to eke out a living, as some have been struggling to stay afloat financially, spent their savings, or were barely able to feed their own families during the “hard lockdown”.

On the side of a busy road in Mamelodi, brick maker, Jordan Bila and his small team were hard at work on Monday, crafting bricks for the first time since March.

Bila told News24 he was thrilled to back at work.

“I’m very happy to be back at work as I can now start making a living again to support my wife and and four children,” Bila said.

Bila said the past two months had been extremely difficult for him. At one stage, he and his family survived on porridge as they were not able to afford any other food.

He added that his employees were also happy to be back as they were also stuck at home with no other way of making money.

Jackson Baloyi, who owns a tavern in Nellmapius was also ecstatic that government regulations would allow him to trade, even though it was only for off-site consumption.

“I am happy, this is my job, this is my life, there is nothing else I can do,” Baloyi said.

“I was suffering because I was not doing anything; police were always around at my place, there was nothing I could do, so I sat around.”

Baloyi said his patrons had already started queuing outside of the tavern on Monday, waiting to support him.

Sean Tucker, who works as an estate agent for Beacon Real Estate in Pretoria East was eager to get back into the game, hoping that he would be able to close a couple of sales before month-end.

Tucker said it was a relief that real estate agents were able to make an income again, noting that the previous two months had been difficult financially.

“I’m excited, raring to go, I have a bunch of listings and have already done some viewing,” Tucker said.

He added that there was already movement concerning both buyers and sellers in the market.

Tucker had to dig into his savings to cover debit orders and got a payment holiday on his bond to try and ease the burden of not earning an income as real estate agents were not able to work during Level 4 and 5 of the lockdown.

Tucker said the lockdown was stressful and that it had led to incurring more debt, but at the same time, he was also able to open a side business, selling wood.

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