How you can help restaurants, bars and other small businesses during the lockdown

Business Insider SA
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
  • A number of platforms have been launched during the national Covid-19 lockdown to support small businesses such as restaurants and bars. 
  • Most small businesses were forced to close during the national lockdown, which caused a cash flow crisis as they were still expected to pay wages and utilities. 
  • These are some of the initiatives to support small businesses including restaurants and bars – including with vouchers you can use once things start returning to normal.
  • Go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage for more stories.

Several platforms have been launched since the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown to support small businesses forced to close – and which may have trouble opening up again. 

Most of these let you purchase vouchers which can be used once restaurants, bars, and other businesses reopen.

Small businesses were plunged into crisis due to the national lockdown which brought their cash flow to a halt, while financial responsibilities such as wages and utilities remained. 

While the lockdown is expected to be eased from Friday, the likes of salons, bars and restaurants will not be allowed to reopen just yet.

The South African government has launched several schemes to support small businesses during the crisis, but those are not expected to be enough to keep their doors open. 

Also read: All the financial help available to South Africans during the coronavirus crisis

Here is a list of all the initiatives available for members of the public to support small South African businesses during the crisis:  

Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund 

Restaurant review and rating publication Eat Out has launched a relief fund in partnership with Community Chest to help fund restaurants preparing food for at-risk communities in their kitchens. By Tuesday morning the fund had raised over R760,000 and received 19 applications. 

You can donate money on Snapscan, Zapper or EFT here.

Say Siyabonga voucher platform 

Online voucher programme Say Siyabonga was created by various small businesses to sell discounted vouchers to consumers during the lockdown to help improve cash flow. You can claim the vouchers once their services are again permitted. Services offered on the platform include restaurants and other food outlets, yoga and fitness studios, spas and resorts, freelancers of various kinds, lodges and conference centres, and tour companies. 

You can visit Say Siyabonga’s platform here.

Support Rosebank Sunday market 

A Backabuddy fund to support the roughly 350 traders and artisans at the Rosebank Sunday Market was launched in the middle of April. These traders, who support over 1,000 people, have had no financial income since the start of the national lockdown. 

You can donate to the Backabuddy fund here.

Save Your local voucher scheme

The Save Your local non-profit platform hopes to encourage individuals to buy vouchers from their favourite small businesses during the national lockdown to be used after the lockdown period ends. The hope is that the vouchers will help improve small business’ cash flows to help them pay staff and utilities during the economic slowdown. Over 250 small businesses from restaurants to hair salons have registered on the platform since it was launched. 

Visit Save Your local here.

Stella Artois’ #SaveYourSpot initiative 

Beer brand Stella Artois has created an online platform where you can buy a voucher to be used at your favourite local restaurant or bar (which has a valid liquor licence) when sit-down services are again permitted. Stella Artois said with every voucher purchased it will add another 50% of the value to the restaurant or bar regardless if they stock Stella Artois or not.  

Visit Stella Artois’ #SaveYourSpot platform here.


Restuarant platform Dineplan is encouraging consumers to buy vouchers at their favourite restaurants during the national lockdown to be used once lockdown restrictions have eased. Thus far it has raised R1.4 million through 1,700 vouchers for food outlets across the country. 

Visit Dineplan’s voucher platform here

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