The Craft and Design Institute (CDI), a non-profit company, is calling on South Africans to continue supporting the thousands of small businesses in the local craft and design sector during the Covid-19 lockdown. Consumers are encouraged to visit the CDI's online platform Peek
, which displays an array of local products created by South African small businesses.
Launched in 2017, Peek is a free platform for creative businesses anywhere in the country to showcase their craft and design products directly to local and international consumers. Currently, there are 480 registered businesses on the platform, showcasing over 3,000 products. Over a quarter of Peek visitors are from countries abroad, includinge the US, France, UK, Canada and Germany. The platform was made possible by funding from the Department of Small Business Development.
Group CEO of the CDI, Erica Elk, says the CDI is aware that small businesses are severely affected by the national Covid-19 lockdown. For that reason, the Institute is encouraging the public to continue supporting small businesses using online platforms while physical market opportunities are constrained.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19, particularly all small business owners, their staff and families who are grappling to come to terms with this unprecedented crisis. We have already received a significant amount of feedback from the small businesses we work with regarding the severe impact they are seeing unfold. For small business owners, sales are the lifeblood.
"We call on South Africans to visit www.peek.org.za to support these talented creatives. We hope that South Africans will show their love of local and take time to browse and connect with local makers online. Contact details for each business are on the site so you can contact them directly to arrange a purchase,” says Elk.
Elk encourages all small craft and design businesses to join the platform to showcase their products if they have not done so yet.
The CDI helps develop creative people, small businesses and the craft and design sector at large in South Africa. It currently supports over 5,600 businesses and individuals in the country's craft and design sector, ranging from startups to exporting enterprises which are based all over South Africa – from rural towns to urban centres.