GOVERNMENT, HAS through the GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS), been able to rescue over 650,000 jobs within the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
The special fund setup by the government to cushion small businesses from the effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has supported about 289,047 small businesses where some GH¢502.5 million has been disbursed to beneficiaries comprising 69 per cent female-owned businesses.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, made this known during the presentation of the 2021 Budget and Economic Statement to Parliament.
“In order to provide relief to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on MSMEs, the government launched the CAP-BuSS, and earmarked GH¢600 million for MSMEs.
“The NBSSI disbursed GH¢502.5 million to 289,047 beneficiaries.
“Mr. Speaker, the launch and operationalisation of the GH¢750 million CAP-BuSS has mitigated the impact of the pandemic on several micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.
He indicated that the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) which was transitioning into the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) collaborated with over 80 business associations and other key participating financial institutions (PFI’s) to facilitate timely disbursement of the funds.
He added that “As at end December 2020, about GH¢412.88 million had been disbursed to support 277,511 businesses of which 69 per cent were female-owned. The scheme had saved over 650,000 MSME jobs.”
The initiative he noted had activated the formalization of the largely informal sector where over 10,000 business registration had been activated, 800,000 Tax Identification Number (TIN) generated and approximately 60 per cent of beneficiaries securing bank accounts which further enhanced the rate of financial inclusion.
In advancing the growth of MSME, the minister indicated that about 37 Business Resource Centres in various districts had been operationalized in the year 2020 with the full deployment of staff, equipment and other logistics.
He explained that the BRCs were designed to provide Business Development Services (BDS) to support MSMEs and businesses operating under the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative in urban and peri-urban areas.
“The BRCs are also providing agency and representation services such as Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Registrar General’s Department (RGD)”
In addition to the BRCs, he said that five new Technology Solution Centres (TSCs) had been established, with existing 26 TSCs upgraded and re-equipped to provide technology solutions and maintenance support to industries.
By Issah Mohammed