Govt opens GH¢1billion CAP loan application today for eligible SMEs
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) business support scheme intended to assist small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19.
The fund provided by government in partner with selected banks is intended to provide relief to SMEs across the country that has been negatively affected by the disease.
Speaking at the launch yesterday in Accra, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has had a devastating impact on all economies around the world.
He said countries have been hitted with reduced productivity, job losses, and steep decline in revenues for Government, businesses, households and individuals.
Amongst the hardest hit in Ghana, according to the President, are micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 70 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, and represent 92 per cent of businesses.
“This amply highlights the important role MSMEs play in the growth and development of our economy, necessitating the special attention of Government,” he said.
That, President Akufo-Addo said made him implement CAP which aims to protect households and livelihoods, support MSMEs, minimise job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.
Out of the GH¢1.2 billion earmarked for the programme, GH¢600 million would be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs, with up to a year moratorium and a two-year repayment period.
The rate of interest on government’s GH¢600 million facility is 3 per cent.
Additionally, selected participating banks would provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million, making, in all, GH¢1 billion for disbursement under the Business Support Scheme.
The entire scheme set to attract about 180,000 beneficiaries across the country with the funds under the Scheme to be managed by National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
The scheme would also be supervised by a loan 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, the well-known audit firm, KPMG, will act as technical advisors to the Scheme.
Disbursement of the funds, the President indicated would be effected through the participating banks, adding that transparency and accountability would be the hallmarks of the operation of the Scheme.
In so doing, application forms have been made available online on the website of NBSSI, which is www.nbssi.gov.gh for eligible candidates.
It is also available via USSD code across all mobile networks, and applicants could also call the CAP Business Call Centre on 0302 477 777, or visit the nearest NBSSI Business Advisory Centre for assistance with their applications.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Scheme is targeted at MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors including agri and agro-businesses, manufacturing, water and sanitation, tourism and hospitality, education, food and beverages, technology, transportation, commerce and trade, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, textiles and garments.
He stated that beneficiaries should either be self-employed, sole proprietors, or engaged in a limited liability, partnership, or joint venture arrangement.
“A total of 99 employees is the limit of employment for any qualifying enterprise. The qualifying enterprise will be encouraged to belong to a trade association or group, and be registered with NBSSI. The application process starts tomorrow, 20th May, and ends on Saturday, 20th June,” Nana Akufo-Addo added.
He encouraged beneficiaries to use the funds for its intended purpose, “so that, together, we can work to grow our economy once again.”
Smaller enterprises, the President stated could access funds from the Adom Micro Loans, and larger ones from the Anidasuo Soft Loan.
“This whole Scheme is meant to engender compassion and hope, the pillars upon which we will build a new post-COVID Ghana,” he said.
The President expressed optimism that the funds would go along way to help revive the country’s economy and promised never to relent on its efforts in helping businesses to sail through in this difficult situation.
“Government is investing a lot in it, and I am confident that the proper application of these funds will help our nation bounce back stronger and better than before,” he added.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE