The application process for accessing the GHS600 million COVID-19 Fund will start today, Wednesday, 20 May 2020, and end on Saturday, 20 June 2020.
The beneficiaries are expected to be either self-employed, sole proprietors, or engaged in a limited liability, partnership, or joint venture arrangement.
The criteria state that the qualifying enterprise is expected to belong to a trade association or group, and be registered with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
Out of the GHS1.2 billion fund earmarked to assist businesses impacted negatively by COVID-19, GHS600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), with up to a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period.
The rate of interest on the GHS600 million facility is three per cent.
Additionally, selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GHS400 million, making, in all GHS1 billion for disbursement under this Business Support Scheme.
The entire scheme set to attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.
The funds under the Scheme will be managed by NBSSI and will be supervised by a loans committee, composed of one representative each of the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry, a representative of the NBSSI, and a representative of the participating banks.
Audit firm, KPMG, will act as technical advisors to the Scheme.
President Akufo-Addo said at the launch of the COVID-19 Alleviation Programme that: “Disbursement of the funds will be effected through the participating banks. Transparency and accountability will be the hallmarks of the operation of the Scheme”.
He indicated that the scheme is targeted at MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors, which have been affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, with MSMEs in growth sectors that require additional capital to expand their business to meet the growing demand for COVID-19 related goods and services, also eligible to apply.
The beneficiary sectors include agri- and agro-businesses; manufacturing; water and sanitation; tourism and hospitality; education; food and beverages; technology; transportation; commerce and trade; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and textiles and garments.
In order to ensure a smooth application process for all eligible candidates, application forms have been made available online on the website of NBSSI, which is www.nbssi.gov.gh.
It is also available via USSD code across all mobile networks, and applicants can also call the CAP Business Call Centre on 0302 477 777, or visit the nearest NBSSI Business Advisory Centre for assistance with their applications.