The interest rate on the government stimulus package to Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprise (MSMEs) has been reviewed from five to three percent.
This was announced by the Executive Director of the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Interest rate on stimulus package
The NBSSI had earlier come out to say that MSMEs who will benefit from the GH₵600 million will be required to pay a 5% interest.
Mrs, Yankey-Ayeh justified this in an earlier interview, saying it is the best that the government could offer, considering the times that the country was in.
But speaking at the Covid-19 press briefing organised by the Information Ministry, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, said the rate was reduced further, on the orders of President Akuffo-Addo.
“Initially we had suggested 5 percent, but the President, in consultation with the team decided to review the interest rate, due to the plight of the Ghanaian MSME at a time such as this, to 3 percent”, he disclosed,
Having conducted a survey with about 1,700 MSMEs in Ghana, she further added that the review was also arrived at, after further deliberations with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The moratorium, the Executive Director of the NBSSI said, will however, remain up to one year, adding that the terms of the loan is also still between two to three years.
“At this moment of Covid-19, we are all not sure when this thing could go away but we are also giving the optionto MSMEs to be able to hold their businesses and support their employees at a time such as this”, he remarked.
On Tuesday, President Akuffo-Addo launched a GH₵1 billion soft loan stimulus package to support businesses in the MSME sector who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
The NBSSI is the entity mandated by government to disburse the soft loan, they have since come out with the modalities for accessing the facility.
To qualify for selection, she explained that a beneficiary company must be a business that has been operating in Ghana from March 2020.
Again, she explained those business must either be negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic or producing good and items that support the fight against the pandemic.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, therefore defined Small-Scale businesses as those with between six to twenty-nine employees while micro should have between one to five workers.
The medium scale enterprises, she further defined, should be a company with workforce of between thirty to ninety-nine employees.
She explains that interested applicants can register through a phone call, text, online, and paper application.
Applications she said, will be received on a central portal, where applicants will receive a message via text or email specifying their unique reference code, a url and the next steps they ought to take.
With the reference code, applicants will be able to go through the remaining application process.
The technology platform will pass on the data gathered to the financial institutions/telcos and subsequently they will assess the applications and issue a recommendation.
Once the recommendation is approved, funds will be disbursed to successful applicants via Mobile Money Transfer or Direct payment into the bank accounts of applicants.
By Salifu B.B. Moro