A youth-owned restaurant has been kept afloat through a R10 000 cash injection from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
The Tosh, a coffee shop in the heart of Klerksdorp, was funded under the NYDA’s Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund as part of government’s efforts to help capitalise businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Owners of The Tosh Katlego Matlala (28) and Jason Mfusi (28) received the money three weeks after filing their applications. Matlala says the funding has helped them stay afloat as they wait for restaurants to be given the go-ahead to open.
The R10 000 was used to pay a portion of the salaries of the restaurant’s chef and two waitresses, and was also put towards overheads such as rent and electricity.
When applying for the funding, Matlala says they went onto the NYDA’s website and downloaded the application forms. She says with the help of a consultant from the NYDA, they completed the application form and attached the necessary documents, including financial statements and a business operation certificate from the municipality.
“We were listening to the President’s announcement of stimulus packages for businesses and after that, we scoured the internet for funding opportunities as our business was temporarily shut down,” says Matlala.
The popular coffee shop – which serves pasta, burgers and pizza, among other things – was growing in leaps and bounds when COVID-19 hit.
“I was very excited with the progress we were making but am not sure how things will be when we reopen as our business is a sit-down restaurant,” Matlala says.
One of The Tosh’s successful pre-COVID-19 initiatives was its delivery service to the surrounding offices. “We were still severely impacted by the lockdown in level 4 because our deliveries were mainly to the office parks around our restaurant and when they were shut, we lost a lot of clients,” she says.
The owners of the coffee shop are looking to add traditional dishes to their menu in a bid to attract new clientele after the lockdown.
Fortunately, Matlata says they had managed to negotiate a deal with their landlord to pay only 40 percent of the restaurant’s rent during the lockdown.