About 14,162 firms remain closed due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.
Conducted in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, the third wave COVID-19 Business Tracker, however, revealed significant recovery from the shocks caused by the pandemic.
“The Wave III data also show an increase in reopening of previously fully closed firms. Out of the over 30,000 firms that were previously closed in the Wave II results, about half are fully opened (15,179) in Wave III. But close to half (14,162) are still closed, suggesting more supports to help all businesses fully bounce back,” the report indicated.
The Wave III data show varied levels of improvements across sectors in multiple channels such as sales, access to inputs, finance, and cashflow among others, compared to the 2020 second round data (Wave II).
The key findings from the third round (Wave III) data show a considerable decline in the rate of reduction in hours worked, wage reduction and leave without pay over the three data collection periods in 2020-2021 (Waves I-III).
Across business establishments, 1.0 percent of the workforce were laid off in Wave III compared to 1.3 percent in Wave I.
“The findings from the third Wave of the COVID-19 Business Tracker indicate that the government stimulus impacted positively on firm’s sales with an increase of 11.5 percent. This positive effect was evident among small businesses as their sales increased by 22 percent”, noted Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician.
The Wave III Business Tracker also show the rising use of mobile money among firms for sales.
Data compared to Waves I and II, reveal almost 7 out of 10 firms are now using mobile money to do business, with mobile money usage increasing from 35.7% and 53.4% (Waves I and II respectively), to 69.6% (Wave III). Similarly, more businesses are adopting the use of the internet for sales.
“We need to reimagine development in the digital age. It is encouraging to see more firms embracing digitalization to improve business. UNDP remains committed to supporting Government’s digital agenda and recovery efforts to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, stated Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.
The top three policies that support the firms desire to become resilient are loans with subsidized interest, cash transfer and access to new credit.
“The improvement recorded over the periods is remarkable, but we also need to pay attention to the policy support required by firms. The World Bank will continue to support the Government of Ghana in its efforts towards the country’s economic recovery,” noted Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra.
The COVID-19 Business Tracker is a collaboration between the Ghana Statistical Service, UNDP, and the World Bank, which aims at providing critical information to help the Government of Ghana, development partners and other organizations monitor the effects of COVID-19 on businesses.
The overall objective of the survey is to track the socioeconomic impacts, measures to mitigate the impacts, and efforts to build better recovery for the people of Ghana.