In order to ensure that the financing available through expanded Coronavirus Alleviation Programme reaches the micro, small and medium sized enterprises it is meant for, the National Board Small Scale Industries’ (NBSSI) has put together a support scheme to help them formalize their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) formalise their status and activities and thus become eligible for the concessionary finance on offer. operations so that companies can smoothly access support from the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, the Director of Entrepreneurship Development-NBSSI, Habiba Sumani, has said.
According to Habiba Sumani, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at NBSSI, apart from technical training provided to the MSMEs, some are assisted in meeting the costs of formalization their businesses in the country.
“There are some micro businesses seeking to formalise, but financially they are not able to because of the costs involved. Through some of the programmes, we (NBSSI) try to incentivise them by meeting them with 70 to 85 percent of the cost for formalisation – especially sole proprietor registration at the Registrar-General’s Department,” she said.
This is part of a wider effort to develop and grow the enterprises, and their need for concessionary funding at the present time presents a great opportunity. “The majority of medium enterprises are registered, indicating they have a vision of reaching somewhere; and they have a plan of what they need and require.”
Meanwhile, the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is putting together a comprehensive report on the number of enterprises which have formalised through its support, and are now able to benefit from the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS).
“We are human; we seek opportunities and comply to meet those opportunities. So, there is a group that wasn’t seeking to formalise, but because there is money or there is funding, then they push. They are already in business, but once there was the incentive of providing funding then they wanted to go quickly and get formalised.
“For those that already had the intention and for one reason or another were a bit reluctant, they are now enthusiastic about formalisation because that is what will give them some financial aid for their economic challenges,” Ms. Sumani intimated.
The NBSSI has also conducted a survey to ascertain the exact support MSMEs will need amid the outbreak of COVID-19; and through that survey, it became known that most of these institutions need more help with record-keeping, getting certification, and registering with appropriate agencies such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
“All these things tell us that they want to be compliant, even with their tax obligations. There are good intentions from some of these business-owners, but the opportunity had not come across – and of course CAPBuSS has also helped us reach out to a lot more of them as we rolled out the program,” she said.
Ms. Sumani added that measures are being put in place to ensure the gains which have been chalked up with formalisation of the enterprises will not only be sustained but also improved.