As a financial advisor, some of my customers are business people. I worry when I see some of them taking out huge bank loans to fund the growth of their businesses without considering grants that Government offers so I thought I should write this article to inform you about grants available to business owners.

The Black Business Supplier Development Program Grant [BBSDP]

This grant is available to majority Black owned businesses. Your business must have been in existence for at least 1 year. Alternatively, you must have been awarded a tender so you actually have a contract in place and you might need money to buy equipment as an example. Each company that applies qualifies for a grant up to a maximum of R1 million. The actual grant amount you qualify for is based on the turnover of your business. The grant can be spent over a period of 3 years.

Grant to purchase equipment / machines

If you are in the construction industry as an example and you need to buy tractors, graders, rollers and other machines, you can apply for a grant under the BBSDSP. The grant must be used to buy machinery that you will use to produce your stock or to carry out the service. So if you are in the printing business, you can apply for the grant to buy industrial printers; if you are in the baking business, you can apply for the grant to buy industrial ovens and you can also apply for the grant to buy embroidery machines if you are in the branding business, etc…. The grant amount to buy machinery is limited to 30% of your turnover. If your business turnover is R1million then you can qualify for a grant of R300 000. Government will pay 50% of this R300 000 i.e. R150 000 and you must fund the other 50%. So you benefit to the tune of R150 000

You will not be allowed to buy motor vehicles or office desks with the grant money.

Grants for Business Development Services [non-capex]

There are also grants to fund non-capex expenditure for an example software, marketing, branding, etc…The grant amount will be up to a maximum of 30% of your Turnover as well. However in this instance, you – as the owner of the business, only pay 20% of the grant money and Government pays the other 80%.

There are many grants out there offered by Government and other institutions established by Government. Visit the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Small Business Development, to find out what they have available and the Ts & Cs of their grants. You could save yourself a bit of money and get the financial boost you need to grow your business.

To find out more about the two grants mentioned above, contact Nontobeko Zwane. She is one of the Network Facilitators and she can help you get a grant, if you qualify. She is available on 071 619 9301 or firststop@webmail.co.za