The National Board for Small Scale Industries, managers of the Government stimulus package, has announced a six-day extension of the deadline for applications from June 20 to June 26, 2020.
The decision, taken in consultation with the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Steering Committee, was to give trade and business associations more time for members with specific challenges who are yet to submit applications to do so.
At a media briefing in Accra on Friday, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Aryeh, the Executive Director of NBSSI, said the grace period would present an opportunity to rectify complaints and errors of applicants with wrong credentials recorded on the digitised application portal.
The extension will also provide eligible businesses the chance to acquire the Tax Identification Number to complete their applications and allow for mop up of paper applications from communities and rural areas with no internet for processing into the digitised system.
“We are currently analysing the data to get a better understanding of the challenges,” Mrs Yankey-Aryeh said.
As at June 18, more than 450,000 applicants, representing micro, small and medium enterprises had registered on the programme of which 337,000 had successfully completed their applications.
Applicants who registered via the USSD Code on the various mobile networks represent 58.8 per cent while the remaining 41.2 per cent registered directly on the portal.
Mrs Yankey-Aryeh said so far 66 per cent females and 34 per cent males had submitted applications.
She said the online portal had also detected over 5,200 fraud alerts such as multiple applications with same mobile money or bank details.
She said to ensure that the six-day extension was well utilised, the NBSSI had intensified collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority to facilitate TIN acquisition for applicants.
Also, the NBSSI had undertaken to train IT personnel engaged by the Business and Trade Associations to facilitate data entry for members into the digitised system.
In addition, the NBSSI was deploying additional IT personnel to support applicants with wrong credentials based on specific needs.
The Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme was instituted by government to provide support to MSMEs negatively impacted by the pandemic.
It was launched on May 19, 2020 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure the MSMEs access the fund to sustain their businesses.