The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has assured that players in the tourism and hospitality sector will benefit from the 600 million cedis stimulus package set aside by government to support Small and Medium Enterprises.
Some hotels, particularly in the Greater Accra Region, closed down their facilities and laid off casual staff during the partial lock-down, due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.
Although the three-week partial lockdown has been lifted, the ban on public gathering, as well as the closure of the country’s borders which are still in force, mean that travelers are not coming into the country to lodge into these hotels; and also conferences cannot take place, thereby reducing revenue.
Already, an assessment of the economic impact of COVID-19 on the sector has been carried out and the report handed over to the Ministry for appropriate action.
Speaking to some stakeholders in the industry, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said a meeting has been arranged with the National Board for Small Scale Industries to outline the modalities on how one can apply for the funds.
“The government is working very hard to support the sector because they recognize the importance of the tourism sector to the economy. And the initial support which has come in from government being the 600 million Ghana cedis support has been dedicated to the small and medium enterprises sector because they recognize that you are really suffering and you need that support to thrive,” she said.
“So we are going to engage the National Board for Small Scale Enterprise which will be at the forefront of the disbursement of this facility. We are going to have them to take you through the processes that you need to go through in order to access that facility so that in the interim even as we are waiting for the major interventions for the sector from the government after COVID-19, you will have some support during this very difficult period,” she added.
Akufo-Addo announces GHS600m soft loan scheme for SMEs
With the impact of the coronavirus since it’s outbreak in December, 2019, in Wuhan China, having a serious impact on the global economy, government announced the soft loan scheme of up to six hundred million Ghana cedis for small to medium scale enterprises.
Addressing Ghanaians in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday [April 5, 2020] on further measures to mitigate the spread of the virus in the country, President Akufo-Addo said the scheme will sustain the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.
The Scheme will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for SMEs.