COVID-19: Gov't Plans GHS600m Soft Loan For Small Businesses
Government has put in place a GHS 600 million soft loan scheme with a two-year repayment plan for micro, small and medium scale businesses whose operations have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Persons who access these loans will have a one year grace period before beginning repayment.
“Government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million), which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses,” President Nana Akufo-Addo announced during a national address on Sunday evening.
Currently, there is a two-week partial lockdown of Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Kumasi in place which started on Monday, March 30.
The over 7 million residents in these areas have been advised to only leave their homes in search of essential items or activities.
Most businesses in major economic hubs have been inactive during the period.
Only persons and establishments working within the food value chain have been allowed to operate.
A decision on whether to extend the current partial lockdown in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus will be made “in the coming week”, President Akufo-Addo noted.
The government has already indicated that the cumulative effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion. Other monetary interventions
The Finance Minister announced a GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme that will be funded from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund.
There is also COVID-19 Trust Fund which has so far received GHS8,750,000 in donations, according to the President.
The Minister is also seeking the support of Parliament to amend the relevant laws to lower the cap of the Stabilisation Fund from $300 million to $100 million.
This is to enable the government to use the excess funds to bridge the gap created by the economic impact of the pandemic.
Ghana has also turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic in the form of a rapid credit facility.
Ghana is also among the International Development Association (IDA) countries that could benefit from temporary debt relief during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Six regions have so far recorded cases of the virus with Ghana’s count standing at 214.
The Greater Accra Region has most of the cases with 189 followed by the Northern Region with 10, the Ashanti Region with 12, the Upper West Region with one, Upper East Region with one and the Eastern Region one.