More than 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have so far applied for the two new stimulus packages being disbursed by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) – less than two-week since the application portals were opened, the Chief Executive Officer, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has disclosed.
The SMEs and tourism support programme is under the GH¢145million COVID-19 Response Grant Programme, which is under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP).
Funded by World Bank, the two initiatives – whose application opened on June 21 and June 29, 2021 respectively, seek to promote private investments and firm-growth in non-resource-based sectors and improve the performance of tourism at targeted destinations in Ghana.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh gave the update in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of a stakeholder engagement held in Accra to deepen the public’s understanding of the grant programme.
The grant programme’s portal, which will be closed on Wednesday, July 21, is part of governments initiative to promote private investments, sustain businesses, create jobs and ensure business innovation, competitiveness and growth to support the economy.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said: “We are focusing on non-resource-based sectors such as agro-processing, manufacturing, textiles and garments, food and beverages, tourism and hospitality, pharmaceutical and companies into the production of personal protective equipment (PPE)”.
Unlike the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) that focused on Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), she said, this grant programme is solely for SMEs which have been impacted negatively by the pandemic.
“This fund is to help them propel growth, to ensure they also employ people and that business continues; but you have to have a business with employees from six to 100 to qualify,” she said.
For the tourism grant, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said only stakeholders of SMEs in the sector whose business had been affected by the COVID-19 – including creative arts practitioners, owners of tourist sites, hotels and eateries – are eligible.
She said the stakeholder meeting was part of a series of engagements to inform stakeholders about activities of the agency, successes they had chalked up, upcoming programmes, GETP and how best government and its partners can support them through the provision of financial and technical support.
In a presentation, the Grant Manager, Sam Agbaga, said the grant will be competitively awarded using pre-determined criteria jointly established by a local team of experts and the World Bank, while the business of beneficiaries will be monitored to ensure that the funds are serving their intended purpose.