The GHC100 billion CARES must also be used as a stimulus for small businesses—AfED CEO - YCEO Africa

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The GHC100 billion CARES must also be used as a stimulus for small businesses—AfED CEO


On the 18th November, 2020 , the Government of Ghana launched the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise Support (CARES) initiative in Accra.

The Ghana CARES (Obaatanpa) programme is a GHȻ100 billion post-COVID programme to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana's economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.

It is sequenced in two phases: a Stabilization Phase that started from July 2020 and ended in December 2020; and a medium-term Revitalization Phase from 2021-2023.

The President reassured the nation of the Revitalization Phase of the CARES initiative in his SONA, yesterday. The key projects under the CARES Programme include:

a) supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming;

b) building the country's light manufacturing sector;

c) developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries;

d) fast tracking digitalisation;
e) developing Ghana's housing & construction industry;

f) establishing Ghana as a Regional Hub;
g) reviewing and optimising the implementation of Government flagships and key programmes; and

h) creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including persons with disabilities.

In a communique released today by the office of the Africa Entrepreneurship Dialogue (AfED) in addressing what the CARES initiative should be doing for the startup ecosystem , Justice Offei Jr, Executive Director of AfED affirmed his admiration for the initiative but said ” CARES must also be made to directly impact small businesses, and that said it will be a great transformation for our entrepreneurial regime amidst Covid-19, if GoG can consider rerouting CARES scheme :

(1) to exempt small business in their startup phase from paying Business Operating Permit for the next 2 years ,

(2) to liberate small businesses with a 50% Income & Corporate Tax waiver for one year,

(3) to consider startups under the NABCO Scheme in a form of a hiring credit. Thus absorbing the remuneration of their staff

(4) Accessible Grant & Low-Cost Loan for small businesses”

Mr. Justice asserted that the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy reading that is scheduled to take place this Friday must give realistic hope to young entrepreneurs and more importantly reinvigorate the wellbeing of Ghanaians. ”We will sit , listen, analyze and react with a communique after the Friday Budget hearing. Small businesses are folding up every month due to the Covid -19 pandemic and CARES can be an effective recovery tool. Young entrepreneurs must not give up in advocating for initiatives and policies that will make them flourish in their businesses”, he added.

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