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March 29, 2020
About the Local Yokel Project
March 29, 2020

Business Bytes, 2020-01 Edition

CHAMBER CHAMPION FOR THE YEAR 2019
Every year the Border-Kei Chamber of Business awards one of its committee members for showing outstanding commitment to the work of their respective BKCOB committee.
Sandy Loppnow, Deputy chair of the BKCOB Tourism Committee and owner of ShowMe East London was named the Chamber champion for 2019 and had her name engraved on the rotating trophy, which was previously held by Mike Francis.
Over the past five years, Sandy has been Deputy Chair of the Tourism Committee, and has, along with other committee members, tried to push improvements to the city and its tourism offering.
“One of our greatest accomplishments is the great teamwork we have created between all the tourism bodies, that is BKCOB Tourism Committee, Buffalo City Tourism, ECPTA, BCMDA, and DEDEAT,” she said.
As the name suggests, ShowMe East London, which she started in 2012, is a community website designed to showcase local businesses and promote East London. The same year it was formed, Sandy became a chamber member and has since become a well-known name within the East London business and tourism space.
“I love being part of such a diverse group who are working so hard collectively to better our city. I am very honoured to receive the Chamber Champion Award for 2019 and I believe it is a tribute to all on the Committee who are as passionate as I am about uplifting our city and showcasing its true potential,” she concluded.
EVERGREEN INDOOR GARDENS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS EVER-GROWING SUCCESS.
Exactly two decades ago, Lin Langheim’s love for gardening and supporting local businesses gave birth to what would be Evergreen Indoor Gardens. The company not only celebrates 20 years of its existence, but 20 years of exceptional service delivery to the business fraternity of East London.
Some of the fundamental values that have kept this establishment going for so long include faith and putting their clients’ needs first. This is evident in the excellent service that the company provides. For 20 years, Evergreen Indoor Gardens have been consistent in mastering one of the most important rules in business and that is listening to their clientele; so as to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
Evergreen Indoor Gardens pride themselves in more than just being a plant hire and maintenance establishment, but an image and morale-booster for many of East London’s industries. The company began its journey 20 years ago with only just two functions, rental, and maintenance of indoor pots and plants. They have grown significantly with added functions, such as the rental of silk flower arrangements, rental and maintenance of outdoor pots and plants, beaded plants and small landscaping projects.
In the face of a declining economy and with the fourth industrial revolution making its mark, this company has managed to stay abreast, all thanks to the authenticity of their business niche. Let’s face it, even with new technological advancements the reasoning for having indoor plants remains the same in every generation. Indoor plants serve more of a practical purpose as opposed to an aesthetic purpose. So when deciding on whether to have indoor plants, the decision should be weighed on the practical side more than just the aesthetic appeal. Indoor plants create a more inviting business environment; they enhance a company’s image, boost employee morale, attendance and productivity, as well as help reduce employee stress levels.
“We are very excited to be celebrating our 20 years in business and want to say a special thank you to each and every client of EVERGREEN INDOOR GARDENS for your continued support. Along with our supportive clients and the EVERGREEN INDOOR GARDENS team, we will continue to grow.
“In closing, I would like to congratulate and thank Thoza Tomose for his 20 years of hard work and dedication to EVERGREEN INDOOR GARDENS,” said Manager, Roxanne Loraine- Grews.
Here’s to 20 more years of evergreen plants and ever-growing success.
BUSINESS PARTNERS LIMITED RECOGNISED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION (IFC) AND THE SME FINANCE FORUM FOR INNOVATIONS IN SMALL BUSINESS LENDING
Business Partners Limited was named Gold winner in the SME Bank of the Year – Africa category at the Global SME Finance Forum Awards late last year.
Business Partners Limited – one of Africa’s leading business loan and equity providers – has developed one of the world’s most innovative risk finance models for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). They have provided close to R20 billion in finance in over 71,000 transactions to business owners over the last 38 years.
Organised by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
This year’s award winners were selected from a competitive pool of 144 applicants. A panel of independent judges chose the winners based on their Reach, Uniqueness and Innovation, Effectiveness and Impact, and Dynamism and Scalability.
Ben Bierman, Managing Director of Business Partners Limited said: “We are honoured to receive this esteemed accolade and pledge our commitment to continue supporting business owners and contributing to the improvement of the SME sector in Africa.
“We started out focusing only on South Africa and the adaptability of our business finance model has been proven through our successful expansion into six other African countries, namely Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia
. This continental footprint and accomplishment likely contributed to Business Partners Limited being selected as the Gold awardee.”
LOADSHEDDING CALLS FOR ENERGY TRANSITION, SAYS ANALYST!
South Africa’s electricity supply woes may be far from over, and now, more than ever businesses and households need to start looking at renewable energy sources to supplement their energy needs.
This is according to Energy Analyst and EE Business Intelligence Managing Director, Chris Yelland, after multiple plant breakdowns at Eskom’s power stations stiffened the implementation of loadshedding between January and February this year.
With major delays in the completion of Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations, coupled with the deteriorating state of its existing power stations, Yelland reckons that it is imperative for customers to have alternatives.
“Businesses need to start looking into taking control of their own energy by installing rooftop solar PV systems, especially those business that operate during the working day because these systems can significantly reduce the amount of electricity that you need from the grid and this will not only help Eskom but it will help customers ensure a greater reliability for the electricity supply,” said Yelland.
More imperative to tackling the energy crisis, Yelland asserts, is the reduction of regulatory red tape by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the existing distributors of electricity, either Eskom or the municipality.
“They put a lot of stumbling blocks in the way because they see this as losing money, and their market share. When customers start generating their own electricity, they see it as threat to their business model” said Yelland.
“Certainly, there is a lot pressure now for change because of load shedding. Customers are beginning to become more demanding to be able to take control of their own future,” he added.
Failing to find ways of supplementing the current energy supply will without a doubt lead to more and more power cuts. Inevitably, these have and will continue affecting businesses negatively.
“The economic impacts are enormous; we will see a reduction in GDP for this quarter. If it continues it will constrain the economy significantly. The impact on commerce and industry, farming and the productive economy is really severe and will impact growth and jobs in this country,” said Yelland.
While intensifying the use of alternative energy sources may take the load off the grid, and give customers a reliable energy supply, it has other benefits for business.
Corporates across the world are under enormous pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, and electricity generated from coal produces the largest carbon footprint. Supplementing energy supply with renewable and eco-friendly energy sources thus reduces companies’ carbon footprints enormously, and is a step forward in creating a cleaner, and greener future.
“I think South Africans should start embracing their energy transition, as we move away from coal, towards a cleaner future, we should be looking for a just transition where we train people and help them transition,” concluded Yelland.