15,228 MSMEs receive COVID-19 stimulus packages

A total of 15,228 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have, so far, benefited from the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, one of the stimulus packages set up to cushion businesses from the shocks of the pandemic.

The beneficiaries, mainly micro businesses, including food vendors, barbers, beauticians and dressmakers received grants totalling GH₵2,000 each from the “Nkusuo” programme.

The GH¢90 million stimulus, package targeted at 25,000 MSMEs, is said to be a collaboration between the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Mastercard Foundation, launched in September last year.

It focuses on supporting MSMEs and start-ups in sectors including agriculture and agro-business, water and sanitation, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, garment and personal protective equipment, the creative arts industry, manufacturing, food and beverage adversely affected by the pandemic.

A statement issued by Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director of NBSSI in Accra on Tuesday, said the varying payments were made through mobile money and based on the size, need and repayment capacity of the enterprises.

“These current disbursements cater for the grant component of the Nkosuo Programme. Those that fall under the loan component are currently being assessed and disbursements will commence this week.

“We remain hopeful that available funds will be able to serve the target number of beneficiaries and even exceed. We urge beneficiaries to be patient as we work on assessing the applications received,” it said.

The statement reminded applicants that the interest rate for the loan component was seven per cent per annum with a one-time processing fee of 2.5 per cent of the loan amount (to be deducted from loan amount by the bank).

It said irrespective of the amount approved, the Nkosuo programme provided for a moratorium period of up to 12 months and a repayment period of up to 24 months.

“We advise against the actions of persons who may want to defraud unsuspecting applicants. The Board and the Mastercard Foundation have not contracted anybody or group of people to collect charges on their behalf or to bill applicants with any new charges.

Applicants are, therefore, encouraged to report any suspicious requests or demands to the police or nearest Business Advisory Centre (BAC) in the district of the concerned applicant,” it said.


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