Scores of business owners and entrepreneurs in Ho on Wednesday stormed the offices of the National Board for Small Industries (NBSSI) to register for Government’s stimulus package for Small and Medium Scale enterprises.
This followed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s announcement on Tuesday of a GHC1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business support scheme to cushion Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the wake of COVID 19.
The entrepreneurs mostly women formed long queues to register for the package to revive their businesses.
However, Mr Michael Ayi, a personnel at the Ho Business Advisory Centre of NBSSI told the business owners that for the stimulus package, they were to register online and not at the NBSSI office.
He said the Centre was only registering clients who wanted business relationship with NBSSI and not for COVID19 stimulus package.
Mr Nelson Arthur, Volta Regional Chairman of National Association of Garages, who was among the crowd, said the pandemic had slowed down work of garages necessitating the laying off of some workers hence the visit to the NBSSI office for Government’s support.
Madam Juliet Amesu, a chop bar operator said she sent two workers home, with two others running shifts because business was slow, saying, she needed the stimulus package to revive her business.
Meanwhile, Mr Seth Klutse, Volta Regional Manager, NBSSI said the region was targeting ten to 15 per cent of the package announced for SMEs.
He said some players in the sector had started showing interest in the package and was hopeful it would help revive enterprises facing collapse due to the Coronavirus disease.
Mr Klutse told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the interest rate and the repayment terms of the package made it a good opportunity for SMEs to boost their businesses during and after COVID-19.
He said the NBSSI would monitor the beneficiaries, particularly those that were not clients of the board to ensure that only eligible businesses benefited.
The Regional Manager said restrictions and closure of markets continued to affect businesses but hopeful that government’s intervention could change the narrative.
“I am calling on micro, small and medium businesses in the region to come on board and take advantage of the opportunity to apply and benefit,” he said.
The stimulus package is a loan, with beneficiaries having one year moratorium and two years to pay.