The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has assured businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector of a benefit from the 600 million cedis stimulus package announced by the government to cushion Small and Medium Enterprises affected by the pandemic.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the partial lock-down in the country led to some hotels and businesses in the tourism sector laying off casual staff and temporarily shutting down businesses.
The economic impact of the pandemic cannot be overlooked as revenues have been reduced because albeit the partial lock-down being lifted, there is also a ban on social gatherings
Additionally, the closure of the country’s border means that travelers are not coming into the country to lodge in hotels and also conferences and events are not being held since there is a ban on social gathering. All contributing to a loss in revenue.
Speaking in a meeting with some stakeholders and industry players, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said a meeting has been arranged with the National Board for Small Scale Industries to outline the modalities on how one can apply for the funds.
“The government is working very hard to support the sector because they recognize the importance of the tourism sector to the economy. And the initial support which has come in from government being the 600 million Ghana cedis support has been dedicated to the small and medium enterprises sector because they recognize that you are really suffering and you need that support to thrive,” she said.
“So we are going to engage the National Board for Small Scale Enterprise which will be at the forefront of the disbursement of this facility. We are going to have them to take you through the processes that you need to go through in order to access that facility so that in the interim even as we are waiting for the major interventions for the sector from the government after COVID-19, you will have some support during this very difficult period,” she added.
Announcement of GHS600 million Stimulus Package
It can be recalled that President Akufo-Addo in his address to Ghanaians on Sunday, April 5, 2020 announced that, the government will roll out a soft loan scheme of up to six hundred million Ghana cedis for small to medium scale enterprises due to the economic impact of the pandemic on businesses especially SMEs.
“Government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GHS600 million), which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses,” the president said.
The decision to roll out the soft loan scheme follows the outbreak of the coronavirus which has rendered many businesses inactive thereby, loosing income and returns.