Participating banks and financial institutions in the government’s covid- 19 business alleviation program will be retaining the 3 per cent interest to be paid by beneficiaries, the Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries, (NBSSI).

Speaking to JoyBusiness, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh said the government is giving the funds without interest but has had an agreement with the banks for the three per cent to be charged.

She believes that the move will help the beneficiaries to sustain their operations and repay the funds on time.

“It is important for us to look at the participating financial institutions based on their reach. For instance, ARB Apex bank is rural and has branches across the country so they’re our partners in the program.

“The 3 per cent interest will take care of their cost because they’re taking care of the risks involved as well. As I said, we’re not in normal times so we can’t do normal things and therefore we cannot offer 20 per cent interest but we need to strengthen our businesses and sustain them” she noted.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh also mentioned that the Board is working closely with some commercial banks in the country to make the program a success.

“So far about seven banks including the ARB Apex bank has come on board to help with the disbursement process.

Apart from the rural banks with about 800 footprints, about 7 financial institutions are on board and willing to support also for the micro, we’re trying to use the telcos to disburse because it’s not everyone that has access to the banks or financial services.”

The government in April this year announced it would roll out a GH¢600 million stimulus packaged targeted at Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

The partner banks are supporting fund with additional GH¢400 million, bringing the total amount targeted at small businesses to GH¢1 billion. The facility is being managed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and would have KPMG as its technical partner.

According to NBSSI, beneficiaries of the facility would pay an interest of three per cent.