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What’s next for small businesses?

Power outages, the pandemic, and now a looting and destruction crisis. What’s next for small businesses?

The small business sector has been struck with another devastating blow over the past few days. Thousands of small businesses, formal and informal, are no longer operating due to the unrest and looting which has resulted in billions of losses in stock and equipment, key infrastructure being severely compromised and supply chains interrupted.

The country’s job creators have been severely affected by this criminality. The toll on job losses is staggering, adding to the country’s skyrocketing unemployment figures.

The township economy will be the hardest hit by this. Local entrepreneurs who have put everything into starting businesses and creating jobs have lost ‘lock, stock and barrel’.There is also no doubt that a large portion of small businesses may never recover from this devastation.

As a nation, we’re going through enormous adversity, but this is a time to be strong, stand together and focus on the light. When we get knocked down in a place so dark we must trust our heart to illuminate the way forward. Hitting rock bottom doesn’t own us and it can’t take away our freedom to respond. We have the power to take action.

As a lifelong entrepreneur who has had to rebuild after losing everything, I have found some key survival strategies that have helped me get through the tough times.

Accept that pain and loss are part of life. Even though it is inevitable, if we face it with the right attitude, we can turn misfortune around. Under the worst circumstances, I have learned to choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative. To be confident, energised and set my sights on today and tomorrow rather than dwelling on yesterday.

Patience is vital. To be patient could be the hardest of all, however this is one of the first qualities we must develop when faced with adversity.  Surrender yourself to the fact that there is a time frame for everything. Importantly, it is just a matter of time and things will turn around. In the words of Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Make a point to exercise gratitude. We need winter to appreciate summer, rain to appreciate the sunshine, and adversity to be thankful for the calm after the storm. Adversity is an opportunity to lift yourself to a higher level. A smooth sea never made a skilful mariner.

Believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel and your situation is only temporary. Have the strength to become the victor. Clear your head of the adversity and focus on the future. It is only you that can decide the path ahead and you can decide whatever you want.

Lastly, don’t ever give up. If you keep moving and never surrender you will always arrive at where you want to be. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try and try again.

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