About 63 Small, Medium and Enterprises(SMEs) are to benefit from GH¢8 million under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP), being second phase of the COVID-19 Response Grant.
The grant under the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) would provide liquidity support and promote private investments in the non-resource-based sectors, such as agriculture/agro-processing, manufacturing and textiles and garments.
Speaking at the signing of an agreement in Accra, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of GEA, MrsKosi Yankey-Ayeh, said government in her attempt to alleviate the plight of SMEs, implemented a number intervention through GEA.
“For instance, the GEA rolled out the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS) of which more than 300,000 businesses received support, the rollout of the ongoing COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, GIZ DigitisationProgramme and so on to ensure that businesses stayed afloat”, she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that “ One of such programmes was the COVID-19 Response Grant under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) to provide liquidity support and promote private investments and high-growth firms in the non-resource-based sectors such as Agriculture/Agro-processing, Manufacturing and Textiles and Garments.”
She said the project was implemented nationwide, adding that a total of GH¢ 28.7 million was disbursed to 373 SMEs between September 2021 and March 2022, out of which 158 were women-owned enterprises with allocation of GH¢ 10.5 million.
According to Mrs Yankey- Ayeh, the beneficiaries created a minimum of 134 new permanent jobs and 156 new casual jobs, adding that an online survey conducted in March, 2022, showed over 90 per cent satisfaction rate among the beneficiaries of the fund.
She said “in the past, we did not have education and healthcare and tourism in the sectors that we supported, but this time we have add them. We under estimated the impact of the pandemic on these sectors, so now it is important to support them.These are sectors that women entrepreneurs play major roles, considering that in the past, we have been looking at equity of women, providing them access to funding”.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said government would continue to support businesses to propel them for economic development and as engine of growth.
“Next month we are introducing High Growth Fund, which is a technical assistant fund, bringing on board consultants and programmes that would build the fundamental of the business, those that are successful and those who show promise of potentials we would then access funds for them. These are some of the interventions government is making,”Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.
She commended the World Bank Group for the support and also being a strategic partner not only by supporting MSMEs, but also taking interest in supporting the institutions infrastructural works as well as providing us with the needed technical support.
Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, said government was committed to supporting Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
She noted that “Government has suspended invigilation being done by Ghana Revenue Authority that is enormous because government was going to raise a lot of revenue but GUTA opposed it”.
He advocated continues engagement and consensus building to tackle issues issue facing GUTA rather than locking up shops.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG