Executive Director, NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh

The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has revealed that over 200,000 people have so far benefited from government’s stimulus package under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.

During an interview on JoyNews’ AM Show, the NBSSI’s Executive Director, Kosi Yankey Ayeh said about 185,000 of the beneficiaries are in the microeconomic sector whereas the others are in the macro and higher categories.

She noted that the aim of the one-off package is to support as many businesses as possible to help them recover from the harsh impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The goal is for us to continuously facilitate access to finance and within the past three years before this [the stimulus package support] we had facilitated over ₵40 million in access to finance.

“So this is not the first intervention we have been doing it because our work is to support micro small and medium enterprises. And even during and after this [CAP] we still have other supports because this exercise is more than just giving funding, it is more of ‘After Covid, what next?’ to help build a stronger economy,” she said on September 15.

Highlighting what could cause an applicant to be rejected, Madam Ayeh said the system has been structured in a way to detect multiple applications and certain details to automatically disallow them access.

She also noted that falsified information when detected can also cause an applicant and potential beneficiary from benefiting from the package.

“There are instances where people do not complete the application. They start it, they do not complete it but they assume they are done but they expect to have something but they never get it because they have been automatically rejected,” she added.

The Director, in her comment on how monies disbursed, would be retrieved said, measures are being implemented to help beneficiaries revamp their various businesses in order to have the financial capacity to pay back the loans.

Madam Ayeh said financial literacy workshops will be held for beneficiaries to assist applicants to know how to run their various business for its development.

“The whole exercise in its entirety is not just showing up and say, ‘we have funding, here it is,’ but it is really thinking through what was the reason behind this fund and helping people grow,” she said.

“We have access to the people, so we work with them, and engage them to build a relationship. So we are not all about giving and taking funds we include monitoring and evaluating how those funds are being utilized by the beneficiaries.”