Once again our sector takes a big hit! Don’t tell me we should be innovative and go virtual. Ask those who have done that how it panned out mathematically.
For many a company in our space, going virtual is simply to create some visibility and keep the brand alive. You won’t even break even!
That brings me to the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) loans for the Creative Sector announced and partially disbursed during the first lockdown.
Dear Creative Practitioner, Did you also apply? Did you receive yours? I ask because like me, many creative practitioners never received it making one wonder if it was an exercise just to make the government look good ahead of the elections.
Or did the funds run out? It’s been well over six months since various individuals companies, groups and organizations in the creative sector – the sector inarguably hardest hit by this pandemic applied for loans to keep them afloat during the period.
May be an image of 1 person and text that says ‘UPDATE UDEo.23: No.23: MEASURES TAKEN AGAINST SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS 8 So, fellow Ghanaians, until further notice, fu- nerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical perfor- mances, and parties are banned. Private buri- als, with no more than twenty-five (25) people, can take place, with the enforcement of the social distancing, hygiene and mask wearing protocols.’
How is it that months after, these loans have still not been disbursed? Yes we do admit a few may have received theirs but what about the majority out there?
Should they shut down (if they haven’t already)? Should they fire all their staff (if they haven’t already)? Should they vacate their office premises over rent issues (if they haven’t already)?
Or is it the case the money wasn’t enough and after disbursement to a rather small percentage of the sector it run out?
If that’s the case, what data was used to determine how many companies or individuals were in the sector and how much was made available to cater for them? Or was it just an exercise to satisfy a few…so it appears the sector was being catered for just before elections?
George Quaye is the host of Showbiz A-Z and Late Night Express all
on Joy 99.7 FM.