It has been a challenging 2 years for the whole of humanity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our organization has witnessed the economic effects of the pandemic first hand as authorities put measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.

On Friday 27 March 2020, the government announced a nationwide shutdown for 21 days in which formal markets were to be open for only 4 hours daily, and all informal markets were instructed to be completely closed for this period. Limits to freedom of movement as well as the curfews meant that businesses could not operate at full capacity. These constraints to operations continued in varying degrees since that first lockdown and were a major challenge to our business.

Despite these challenges, our organization and our clients have built a stronger relationship and understanding. Many say that you see someone’s true nature in challenging times and this was the case for us. Many of our clients overcame the challenging business environment through innovative means such as selling products online and delivering door to door. Others overcame it through cost-cutting and cutting back their operations so they could weather the storm financially. Cash flows for many froze and some clients were unable to meet their financial obligations despite various efforts and we heard many stories of how tough the business environment was.

Building on our existing relationships, we understood many of our client problems and found new unique solutions to their individual challenges. We provided clients with advice, emergency credit as well as restructurings for some clients depending on their situation. This also required sacrifice on our part as our expected cash flows were affected and we still had many overhead costs, however, we understood the will of our clients to honor their obligations and the constraints they faced, and we both took some pain so we would survive to fight another day.

With the coming of the vaccines, the pandemic seems to be coming to an end and the mutual sacrifices our organization and clients made have increased our client’s loyalty to our company as well as our trust in many clients. These relationships and the lessons learned will serve us for many years to come as we grow together, because challenges always make you stronger, and allow you to reach greater heights.

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