The National Board for Small Scale Industries will launch a portal within this week [18th May to 22nd May] to start receiving applications for the utilisation of the GHS600 million soft loan scheme for micro, small and medium scale businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve given ourselves a month for the applications to come through. We took into consideration people’s accessibility,” the NBSSI Executive Director, Kosi Yankey Ayeh, said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
Miss Ayeh assured of transparency and the non-partisan disbursement of funds with the technology used in monitoring and evaluating the process.
“I think we’ve put in place the right structures and institutions that’s why from the beginning we had the engagement [with SMEs]. Secondly, this platform will be done in a transparent way where there is technology involvement. In areas where there is no technology involvement, people will come on board and support it.”
Sharing the details and processing of the loans, she stated that: “We will work closely with the associations to ensure that their members are duly accounted for and also they [associations] will support in the monitoring and evaluation of the whole process.”
“We are working with some participatory financial institutions and we came up with a credit scoring model which will be able to support in the short possible time and be able to assist and ensure that we give the right support to the right people who need it.”
On the score of eligibility for the loan, she stressed the criteria set by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the number of employees for small, micro and medium enterprises.
“If you’re a small, micro or medium enterprise you are entitled to apply and you’re eligible. The micro-enterprise using the definition of an employee which has been set by the Ministry of Trade and Industry thus 1 to 5 employees; small enterprise is 6 to 29 employees and medium enterprises with 30 to 99 employees.”
“So all these people have been impacted so if you can show evidence that you’ve been imparted by COVID-19. Also, if you are producing any service or product to support the fight against COVID-19 the opportunity is available.”
She added that the Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be required during registration.
Persons who access these loans will have a one-year grace period before beginning repayment.
The scheme also allows for a two-year repayment plan.