Covid-19; Examining the Concerns and Expectations of Businesses in Ghana - Recommendations
• Communication on COVID-19 and government response: The GNCCI encourages government to continue its regular update on COVID-19 to disseminate timely and relevant information to the citizenry. Businesses should continue to adhere to the health protocols in curbing the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations must work with stakeholders to strengthen the Occupational, Safety, Health, and Environment (OSHE) mechanism and system to proactively ensure safe and healthy working environments.
• Expectation from government: The GNCCI maintains that provision of timely bailouts or tax reliefs is critical. However, government must consider the interconnected risks within the affected industries to achieve a better operational resilience and improved collective efficiency.
Government’s stimulus package should be structured to address input supply, production capacities, end markets, and employee management given firm size and business sector. In particular, as the single largest procurer and consumer of goods and services, government should leverage this key functionality to stimulate local business production, growth and development.
The GNCCI further urges government in consultation with the financial industry players to urgently make known the modalities required to enable large enterprises to access the GHS3 billion syndicated loan.
• Employee management: In lieu of layoffs and redundancies, businesses are strongly encouraged to work with unions and workers to explore alternative strategies to retain their workers, for example businesses can furlough employees as a worker-retention strategy. This will help minimize or eliminate the related costs of rehiring and training as well as loss of well-trained employees.
• Handling of business events: The sudden shift of some business activities online suggests the urgent need to address the underlying issues of high cost of data and related charges. The use of systems and technology to support business activities require businesses to be informed and mitigate their risk exposures to cybercrime.
• Business continuity and risk simulation: There should be periodic risk simulation by businesses to test the robustness of their business continuity plan. In this regard, trade and business associations in collaboration with other stakeholders must support their members to develop robust business continuity plans.
Tags: Covid-19, Business, financial cost, input supply, communication, business continuity plan, risk simulation, stimulus package, bailout, tax relief, mitigating measures, employee management, GNCCI