GOVERNMENT HAS through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) disbursed an amount of GH¢520,111,918.67 to some micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), representing 84.8 per cent of the over GH¢600 million earmarked for the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS).
The amount, which was disbursed between May 2020 and June 2021, has benefited some 299,490 MSMEs of which women-owned businesses make up 69 per cent.
This was highlighted during the mid-year budget review in Parliament on Thursday.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that a total amount of GH₵613.6 million had been disbursed to various sectors of the economy under the initiative.
“As of the end of June 2021, a total of GH¢52,293,093.00 has been disbursed to 29,698 beneficiaries within the creative arts industry.
Additionally, 5,410 private schools, universities, and associations within the educational sector received a total of GH¢41,211,577,” he said.
He indicated that the CAPBuSS intervention, which was designed to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Ghanaian economy while promoting financial inclusivity and job creation has improved women’s access to finance.
“The pandemic further threatened our efforts to tackle discrimination and inequality against women, since the sectors hard-hit by the crisis, like tourism, hospitality, and small-scale retailing, employ a large number of women,” he said.
Other interventions such as technical training in entrepreneurship and financial management, he said, have helped 15,748 beneficiaries across Ghana, adding that, “over 740,000 jobs have been protected and a database of 914,000 MSMEs has been created to inform policy”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, launched CAPBuSS with the hope of aiding MSMEs to recover from the impact of the pandemic on their operations.
The implementing agency, formerly known as National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), has collaborated with over 80 business associations, telecommunications companies, and other key participating financial institutions (PFI’s) to facilitate timely disbursement of the funds.
Beneficiaries received amounts equal to or more than GH₵2,000 with an annual interest rate of three per cent, a one-year moratorium, and a repayment term of between two and three years while amounts that were below GH₵2,000 were classified as grants.
By Issah Mohammed