The National Board and Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has been inundated with compliant from businesses seeking assistance to complete their application processes in order to access the stimulus package.
In an interview with the Graphic Business on October 3 in Accra, the Public Relations Coordinator of the NBSSI, Mr Kestine Owusu Poku, said the board received about 600 businesses that were seeking assistance to complete their applications process and those seeking update on their application process after it opened its doors to the public on October 2.
Dubbed, “NBSSI Day Out,” the event, held at the forecourt of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), offered the opportunity for the board to provide more insight and assist the public on its activities.
Some of the interventions of the NBSSI include the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS), the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme for MSMEs, the WIDU Project and the Young Africa Works Project.
After the Accra event, Mr Poku noted that all the NBSSI offices across the country will replicate it in order to address questions and concerns of the public.
“We decided to come to the AMA forecourt to provide education to the public on the activities of the NBSSI.
“It also provided an opportunity for the NBSSI to assist businesses complete their applications processes of the various interventions. After the Accra event, all our offices in the regions will do same.
“Before we setup at this forecourt, participants had already queued waiting for their turn to be served and this affirm the interest the public is showing in activities of NBSSI,” he said.
While some of the participants at the NBSSI Day Out were seeking updates on the CAP BuSS, Mr Poku noted that majority of them were also seeking assistants to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme.
With an initial commitment of GH¢90 million, the new COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme is to provide financial assistance in the form of soft loans through participating institutions such as banks, fintechs, mobile lenders and business development services.
The programme — dubbed 'Nkosuo' — is an initiative of the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the Mastercard Foundation.
The public relations coordinator explained that the programme was targeting agri and agro-businesses, water and sanitation, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, garment and producers of personal protective equipment (PPE), creative industries, commerce and trade.
Others are the manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, technology, education, services and food and beverages sectors.
Some of the participants who spoke to the Daily Graphic after going through the process at the AMA forecourt expressed excitement, saying their concerns have been addressed.
A stationary shop operator, Ms Linda Okine, noted that she was able to obtain her loan approval letter after participating in the NBSSI Day Out.
She said her business had been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic since schools that were her biggest market were closed as part of measures to curb the virus.
“The loan secured will be invested in my business. I am thankful to the government for the support,” she added.
A consumable shop operator, Mr Mathew Amoah, also confirmed that his concerns had been addressed by the NBSSI team at the AMA forecourt.
Expressing excitement, he said he had been allocated with GH₵3,500 soft loan to invest in his business.