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Empowering local entrepreneurs

West Coast Youth Business Chamber (WCYBC) held an information session in Atlantis at Protea Park Primary School hall on 27 November.

The session was specifically aimed at empowering start-ups by youth in the community.

The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa), Small Enterprice Development Agency (Seda) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS), all critical support partners of the government Department of Trade and Industry (Dti), brought insight, clarity and awareness to local business people to enhance their business acumen.

“This information sharing session was a much-needed business support service that gave informative knowledge to entrepreneurs about access to funding, equipment, marketing, and even addressed tax compliance issues such as VAT registration, tax clearance certificates and the importance of proper record keeping,” explained Peter Stoffberg, WCYBC chairperson.

Officials from SARS impressed the local entrepreneurs on how friendly, easily accessible and user-friendly their services are. “They were shown how easy it is to complete a simple service lsuch as an e-filing profile, or to apply for a tax number, tax clearance certificate,” Stoffberg said.

Entrepreneurs were advised on when a business should register for VAT or other tax services.

“Most entrepreneurs think VAT is a compulsory tax to register for, but as a matter of fact it’s only if a business exceeds R1 000 000 in turnover,” he explained.

Sefa offers its support to existing Seda clients and need a scale-up from non-financial to actual financial support, especially if a business received a tender or contract and wants to expand or buy new assets.

Local businesses were encouraged to work through the WCYBC to access these opportunities in the future, especially when it comes to compliance issues, to ensure successful application with Seda and Sefa. Stoffberg added that the number of new businesses attending the event was more than expected, and that the WCYBC was warmly surprised that young ladies are owners of stainless steel businesses and in civil construction industries. Established business owners also attended the session, hoping to find support and mentorship.

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