GHc1 billion stimulus package a good start but…GUTA

The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has described the GHc1 billion stimulus package fo9r small scale businesses as a good start.

President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 19th May, 2020, launched the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme, which is being provided by Government and selected participating banks to micro, small and medium-scale businesses around the country.

Out of the 1.2 billion cedis earmarked for this Programme, GH¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs, with up to a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period. The rate of interest on government’s six hundred million cedi (GH¢600 million) facility is three percent (3%).

Additionally, selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million, making, in all, GH¢1 billion for disbursement under this Business Support Scheme, with the entire scheme set to attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.

With the funds under the Scheme to be managed by NBSSI, and to be supervised by a loans committee, composed of one representative each of the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry, a representative of the NBSSI, and a representative of the participating banks, the well-known audit firm, KPMG, will act as technical advisors to the Scheme.

Commenting on the fund, the president of GUTA said the figure is a good start.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that they would be grateful if the figure is increased to reach more beneficiaries.

Mr. Obeng indicated that the scheme is targeted at MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors, affected by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

He was hopeful the government would seek for other-source of funding should the current figure fail to support the expected number of businesses.

The beneficiary sectors include agri and agro-businesses; manufacturing; water and sanitation; tourism and hospitality; education; food and beverages; technology; transportation; commerce and trade; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and textiles and garments.

In order to ensure a smooth application process for all eligible candidates, application forms have been made available online on the website of NBSSI, which is www.nbssi.gov.gh. It is also available via USSD code across all mobile networks, and applicants can also call the CAP Business Call Centre on 0302 477 777, or visit the nearest NBSSI Business Advisory Centre for assistance with their applications.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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