Event Vendors Association of Ghana, an umbrella body for event companies in the country, says many of its members have been hit hard by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the ban on public gatherings and the practice of social distancing in a bid to spread the virus, many events locally and globally have been cancelled.
The association, comprising hundreds of event organizers, says the nature of their operations require pre-financing, for which reason many of them invested thousands of cedis into events that have been cancelled, after government banned public gatherings to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the President of the Event Vendors Association of Ghana, Mrs. Kate Hassan, pleaded with customers whose funds are locked up with their members to postpone their events instead of cancelling them entirely, since they had already made purchases for these events.
She explained that some event organizers take loans from the banks and are expected to payback with huge interest, but with the current situation most of their members are not sure how to finance such loans.
“It is business. Some of the organizers take loans from the banks to acquire flowers and all the decors just to prepare ahead of time before the event comes off,” she said, adding that huge funds belonging to customers have been pre-invested into items that cannot be easily liquidated to payback clients.
Mrs. Hassan is of the view that the logical thing to do now is to postpone events and not cancel them since most event organizers will not have the financial strength to payback the monies.
“We are pleading with our clients not to cancel, but postpone their events,” she said, explaining that clients can even swap events for money in cases where they are familiar with other clients who are ready to do so.
“So if a family member will be having an event in the future, you can take that money so that we organize that event for you since we have already acquired some of the items,” she pleaded.
She stated that thousands of jobs are at stake now since organizers can no longer pay employees in a period of no work done.
She pleaded with government to come out with a strategy that will help reduce tension between clients and event organizers, as the association engages hundreds of customers demanding a refund.
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been huge, hitting various sectors such as Aviation, hospitality and tourism among others.
In Ghana, some hotels have already laid off casual workers due to low patronage, and are calling on government for s stimulus package to support businesses.
Car rental firms hit by impact of COVID-19 as workers are laid off
Some car rental dealers in Accra say they have also been affected. According to them, they have had to lay off some workers due to low patronage as more people are observing the social distancing protocol and limiting public gatherings and movements.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ghana
As at Wednesday March 23, 2020, Ghana had a total of 68 cases with three deaths.
Many of the new cases were confirmed among the 1,030 people who are under mandatory quarantine in the country after arriving at the Kotoka International Airport hours to the deadline for the closure of the country’s borders.