More than 170,000 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide are at various stages of application for support from the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS) since it was launched barely a month ago.
About 110,500 of them representing 65 per cent of total applications had successfully completed applications as of June 5 and are awaiting results from ongoing due diligence to receive disbursement soon, according to the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), the state agency facilitating the scheme.
Per data released from the CAP BuSS online portal through a statement issued by NBSSI in Accra on Monday, Ashanti Region had recorded the highest applicants of about 48,620 representing 28.6 per cent of total applications.
This was followed by Central Region with 13 per cent; Greater Accra – 12 per cent Eastern Region – 11.5 per cent ; Bono, Western , Northern , Volta, Bono East, Western North, Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, Oti and North East.
“Reasons for the differences in applications have been partly attributed to population distribution, and the concentration of major economic centres in Ghana where MSMEs operate,” the statement said.
In the gender breakdown, a little over 60 per cent of applicants are women.
“In coordination with relevant participating financial institutions, the necessary due diligence is underway to ensure our hardworking Ghanaian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who are the backbone of the economy receive requisite assistance in these hard times,” noted the Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh.
To further ensure all eligible but disenfranchised MSMEs easily access the CAP BuSS, she said selected staff of NBSSI and members of the CAP BUSS Steering Committee were conducting nationwide outreach and monitoring visits to selected trade and business associations and market centres across the country.
“Recognising that majority of MSMEs in Ghana (80 per cent) fall within the informal sector and will require some support to fill out the online application form, our NBSSI regional offices and 180 business advisory centres across Ghana have in the last two weeks been working diligently, and in collaboration with the respective metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) have set up help desks to support applicants with data entry,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.
She explained that the nationwide outreach and monitoring visits were for purposes of scalability and to ensure all other disadvantaged groups easily access the programme and have relevant information to work with, as well as give NBSSI insight into realities and challenges of our intervention.
The statement also asked applicants to be cautious of any suspicious communication including email, phone calls, and text messages notifying them of successful applications and further requesting their biodata and other information to effect disbursement.
Already, it said fraud alerts have been received and that about 1100 applicants have same bank account details while about 500 have same mono account information.
The CAP BuSS which was launched on May 19, 2020 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, forms part of the government’s larger (CAP) intended to provide support to MSMEs negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR