The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has held a sensitization programme for stakeholders on the Grant Fund established to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to recover from the effects of Covid-19 and to resuscitate their operations.
The GH¢145 million grant, under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, which application has been opened, is expected to be disbursed to SMEs to help them grow into sustainable businesses, capable of competing on the regional, continental and global stages.
Addressing participants to deepen their knowledge of the programme, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer GEA, said more than 1,000 SMEs had so far applied for the packages and the meeting was to share the Agency’s successes and to inform the stakeholders about the programmes being initiated this year.
“We are also here to talk about Ghana economic transformation project which aims at transforming the Ghanaian economy. One aim as GEA is to look at how best we can provide financial support and business development,” she said.
She said the current grant was a specialized one with a focus on SMEs that were impacted negatively due to the covid-19 pandemic but were able to sustain their businesses.
“This fund is also here to support them to grow and also involves people as the business continues,” he said.
One of the criteria is that you have to have employees ranging from 6 to 100.
“Businesses impacted by the pandemic, those into manufacturing, agro-processing, fashion and designing, healthcare, food and beverages, tourism and hospitality, among others. All these businesses can apply but they must be an SME,” she said.
For the Tourism sector grant, which has been allocated GH¢55 million, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said the application is opened to businesses, including creative arts practitioners, owners of tourist sites, hotels and estates were eligible.
On his part, Mr Sam Agbaga, the Grant Manager, said to be eligible for the COVID-19 grants businesses must submit financial statements for the years 2017 to 2020.
However, businesses that commenced operations after 2017 must submit at least the 2019 and 2020 financial statements.
He said the grants could be used to support activities such as salary payments, purchase of raw materials, equipment purchases, fees and subscriptions, among others.