The Ghana Union of Traders, GUTA, says it is looking forward to clarity from government on the modalities for the disbursement of the GHS600 million loan support scheme for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs.
President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, April 5, announced that the scheme, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries, Business and Trade Associations and selected commercial and rural banks; will sustain affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scheme will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for SMEs.
GUTA President, Joseph Obeng, told Citi Business News the support will go a long way to help struggling GUTA members who have been badly hit by the pandemic.
“He has just announced this offer to us and we are very grateful. When this thing happened, we said that we are the worst affected in the trading community because we cannot travel to do business. Also, with the lockdown and couple with the banking crisis from last year where most of our capital was locked. So, we have argued all the time that we are the worst affected and the coming of the coronavirus is the last straw that broke the back of the camel. We are indeed very grateful to the President. For the modalities, I know that very soon we will sit down with government and know how we will disburse this fund,” he said.
“Almost all countries that have been affected are offering stimulus packages. The fact that we are not even travelling and the fact that you can also look within and do some alternatives rather than depending on the imports that is not coming is good. Don’t forget that most of our capital has been locked because we have paid deposits and the supplies are not coming and all that so if there is something to support us, then money can be given to you to do other things and also support us whiles we are waiting,” he added.
As the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continuous to take a toll on businesses, President Akufo-Addo has already announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from this stimulus package of 1billion Ghana Cedis.