GEA disburses GH¢8m grant to businesses
THE Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has started disbursing GH¢8 million to 68 small businesses that applied for a share of the second tranche of the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) grant.
The beneficiaries were selected after meeting the rigorous criteria designed by the GEA, the World Bank and other development partners of the government.
They are mainly owners of small businesses in agro-processing, food and beverage, healthcare and manufacturing, education, and cut across the country.
The beneficiaries are receiving between GH¢20,000 and GH¢30,000 grant to support their operational costs, including the purchase of raw materials and equipment.
At an orientation and agreement signing ceremony for the beneficiaries in Accra last Monday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the government was committed to cushion SMEs from the impact of the pandemic.
She said this disbursement was the new round of the stimulus packages introduced by the government to cushion SMEs from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh observed that the pandemic had impacted SMEs both negatively and positively.
She said GEA was one of the key technical implementing agencies through which the World Bank funded GETP and was deploying grants as part of the government's initiative to promote private investments and growth in non-resource-based sectors.
According to her, GEA is implementing the second phase of the grant programme to provide liquidity and support for SMEs to enable them to adjust and to grow out of the COVID-19 crisis in selected sectors of the economy.
The CEO stated that the nationwide grant programme will focus on only SMEs most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those who showed resistance during the pandemic.
She explained that the second phase of the grant programme was expected to spur the recovery of SMEs.
“It will focus strongly on export firms, female-owned enterprises, companies owned by persons with disability and youth enterprises,” she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that a sum of $5 million had been disbursed to over 370 SMEs during phase one, between September 2021 to March 2022.
She said an additional $5 million had been earmarked for the second phase of the COVID-19 programme, which will target another 350 SMEs.
“The COVID-Response Grants have been advanced to 158 women-owned enterprises, out of the 370 SMEs, at a value of GH¢10.5 million.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, observed that the government was keen to ensure that SMEs grew and became the backbone supporting the development of the economy.
He said the government, recognising the need to increase more support to SMEs, provided the GETP grant as a top up to the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS).
"So, this grant is provided to ensure that SMEs are supported amid the ravages of COVID-19 to create additional jobs to address the country's unemployment situation," he said.