Over 5,000 thousand SMEs apply onto GH¢1bn Coronavirus Alleviation Programme
Madam Kosi Yankey Ayeh - Executive Director, NBSSI
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has revealed that over five thousand applicants have filed their application for the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme.
The Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme was launched by President Akufo Addo on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, to support small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) negatively impacted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, the Executive Director of National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey, said her outfit is expecting more applications.
“We are happy to say that we have received over 1,000 calls as of Wednesday, [with] people asking how they can access the platform and how best they can be supported and to address some challenges they have,” she said.
“The good news is that to date, we have about 5000 plus applicants on the platform who have registered and are waiting to go on the next stage. We have already started providing accessibility, and the technology is working. We are also working on any challenge that might come up. And if Ghanaians and any small or medium enterprises have challenges, they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to us,” she added.
Madam Kosi Yankey also hinted that the interest rate for the loan is pegged at 3 per cent payable in three years.
“After deliberations with the President, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and conducting a survey with about 1,700 SMEs in Ghana, we had suggested a 5% interest rate. But the President in consultation with the team decided to review it due to the plight of the Ghanaian MSMEs in these times to 3%. The moratorium still remains up to 1 year, and during the application process, MSMEs have the option of ensuring that they select a moratorium that will work best for them at the time like this. The term of the loan remains between the range of 2 to 3 years,” she said.
With an emphasis on the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to cost Ghana GH¢9.505 billion, as announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. President Akufo-Addo earlier announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from a stimulus package of six hundred million Ghana cedis, but the amount was later increased to GH¢1 billion. According to Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the additional GH¢400 million was committed by some participating financial institutions.
“GH¢600 million was what was initially committed to small and medium scale enterprises as support to help sustain their business, but thankfully, through stakeholder engagement and support of the participating financial institutions, the commitment has increased to GH¢1 billion. GH¢400 million was added by the participating financial institutions,” she noted.