The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), has outlined the categories of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which qualify to benefit from the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Scheme.
Mrs Kosi A. Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director, NBSSI, said MSMEs, which qualified for the CAP Business Support Scheme were micro enterprises with one to five employees, small enterprises with six 29 employees and medium enterprises with 30 to 99 employees.
“Anyone who falls outside of the 99 employees is not qualified for this loan, the President has another initiative for larger businesses,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, said on Thursday, when she took her turn at the meet the press engagement to give an update on the CAP Business Support Scheme.
The CAP Business Support Scheme was launched on Tuesday, May 19 at the Jubilee House by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as part of measures to effectively manage social and economic recovery of the country.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said the two products designed under the Scheme was the Adom loans and Anidasuo loans; explaining that “because we believe this Scheme is to bring hope to MSMEs in times like this when the Coronavirus Pandemic has caused an economic downturn”.
She said the GH¢600 million was what the President had initially committed to support MSMEs to grow and sustain their businesses but through stakeholder engagements and support from Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), the commitment had increased to GH¢1 billion; stating that GH¢400 million was added by PFIs as commitment to support the fight and to strengthen MSMEs.
She said after the launch on Tuesday, the application portal was opened on Wednesday to allow MSMEs to apply.
“The target beneficiaries remain MSMEs who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, also businesses that are producing goods and providing services that will support the fight against COVID-19,” she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said the interest rate which was five per cent was reduced to three per cent after deliberation by the President, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to reduce the plight of the MSMEs in this difficult time.
She noted that the moratorium still remains up to one year and during the application process, MSMEs have the option to select a moratorium that would work best for them; saying that “repayment of loans remain two to three years; this was taken into consideration based on MSMEs needs assessment”.
The Executive Director said some challenges that had come out since the launch had been USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) timeout during registration.
She said it was important to note that the USSD Code was a short process and applicants need to be efficient in completing registration; “This is also caused by network challenges. This challenge notwithstanding we have worked to ensure we have an efficient USSD registration process.”
She said they have also set-up a Grievance Center to work on the challenges Ghanaians meet on the portal.
“As of yesterday, we had received over 1000 calls with people asking how they can access the platform and how to apply and to address some challenges they meet,” she said.
“The good news is that about 5000 plus applicants registered as at yesterday and are waiting to go on to the next step of the application process”.
She said if any MSMEs had any challenge in applying they should not hesitate to reach out to NBSSI, to ensure they provide the best service and efficient system that would withstand the test of time and could also be used in the near future.