Application Guidelines

The purpose of this manual is to provide a self-explanatory guidance to all COVID-19 Response Grant (CRG) applicants.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency is implementing the second phase of the COVID-19 Response Grant programme to provide liquidity and support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable SMEs to adjust, and to grow out of the COVID-19 crisis in selected sectors of the economy. The nationwide grant programme will focus on only the SMEs most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those that showed resilience during the pandemic.

Carefully read through this grant application guide/manual to provide guidance in the completion of the Application form, to receive direction on the documentary requirements, target sectors, and to determine your eligibility following which you may apply for the grants.

The purpose of this manual is to provide a self-explanatory guidance to all COVID-19 Response Grant (CRG) applicants. It follows a step-by-step approach in examining the intent of the questions on the CRG application form and how-to best answer/respond to each question and supply of requested data.

Only Small and Medium Enterprises are eligible for this grant programme. Micro enterprises and large enterprises/corporates are not eligible and should not apply.

Enterprises are defined and differentiated by two key variables:
A. Employee size, and
B. Annual Sales/Turnover amount.

Where an applicant has all requisite documents as enumerated above, they need to further determine whether they are eligible based on their enterprise type.

Eligible applicants will fall under any of the following scenarios for SMEs:
  1. An enterprise will be qualified as ‘small’ where its current staff strength is between 6 to 30 and/or it made annual sales of between GHS180K to GHS7.2 million in 2021. For example, where an applicant has only 6 employees but earned less than GHS180K in annual sales, it qualifies as a ‘small’ enterprise by virtue of falling within the staff requirement threshold. Conversely, where an applicant has only 5 employees but grosses up to GHS7.2 million in annual sales/turnover, it still qualifies as a ‘small’ enterprise by virtue of the annual sales/turnover falling within the defined limit of sales value.
  2. An enterprise will be qualified as a ‘medium’ scale where its current staff strength is between 31 to 100 and/or it made annual sales of over GHS7.2 million but up to GHS21.6 million in 2021. For example, where an applicant has 31 employees but earned less than GHS7.2 million in annual sales, it qualifies as a ‘medium’ enterprise because of the number of staff falling within that range. Conversely, where an applicant grosses over GHS7.2 million in annual sales/turnover but has only 6 employees as of the date of the grant application, it still qualifies as a ‘medium’ enterprise due to the sales surpassing the lower band of GHS7.2 million in 2021.
  3. Where an applicant’s annual sales are over GHS21.6 million cedis, irrespective of the employee size, it is a large enterprise and is not eligible for this grant. Similarly, where an applicant has an employee size of over 100 at the application date, even if its annual revenue is less than GHS180K, it is deemed a large enterprise and ineligible for the grant.
  4. Finally, when an enterprise has less than 6 employees at the application date and made less than GHS180K in 2021 sales, it is a Microenterprise and should not apply for this grant.
As a rule, and for guidance, the GEA will measure employee size as at the application date and annual sales/turnover reported as of December 2021. For guidance, please refer to Table 1 below.
Table 1: Definition of SMEs either by Employee size and/or Sales
Enterprise Type Employee size Annual Sales/Turnover
Micro 1 to 5 Less than GHS180K
Small 6 to 30 Over GHS180K and up to GHS7.2M
Medium 31 to 100 Over GHS7.2M and up to GHS21.6M
Large 101+ Over GHS21.6M
Applicants should not take the requirements and eligibility section of the application form for granted. Applications will be screened to ensure compliance with the above-listed minimum requirements and eligibility prior to detailed review and assessment of applicant’s grants requests. Due diligence will be conducted for each and all shortlisted applicants. The GEA expects that information and data supplied for the assessment of grant requests will be accurate and reserve the right to eliminate or terminate any grants arrangements should due diligence report prove any falsification of data, statements/claims. Further, the GEA may decide to prosecute for fraud, any false, inaccurate, or misleading information supplied on the grant application form.

GEA may decide not to award the grants.
Eligibility Requirement Brief explanation of eligibility requirement
Business Registration Certificate or Certificate of Incorporation This is the document issued by the Registrar General Department recognizing the existence of your enterprise/business as either a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or any other form of business existence assumed by your enterprise
Business Tax Identification Number (TIN) Personal Tax Identification Number (TIN) Your business TIN can be obtained from the Registrar General Department. That is, if applicant has not yet secured a business TIN. The business TIN is stated on the top, right corner of business registration certificate.   Also, individual shareholders of businesses must furnish on the application form, their Ghana Card Numbers as distinct from the business TIN. For sole proprietors or businesses registered as enterprises, your business TIN is same as your personal TIN.
Proof of citizenship GEA shall conduct due diligence for all successful applicants to ensure that grant funds are disbursed to only firms with Ghanaian majority ownership. Physical ID Card inspections will be conducted for shortlisted applicants to ensure grant funds are being awarded strictly to Ghanaian business owners only.
Details of Business Owner. The full names of the principal business owner or majority shareholder(s) - must be completed under the section requesting business owners’ details. Owners' residential address, as separate from the business address, postal address, GPS address, and nearest landmark to the owners’ home, personal phone numbers and email address(es), gender, marital status, and date of birth, must be supplied in the same section of the application form.
Date of Birth of Owner/Principal shareholder: section requiring this information should be completed with the birth date of the owner (in the case of sole proprietors) and majority shareholder (in the case of an LLC). The supply of this information is for M & E purposes only. Where a business owner is a Person With Disability (PWD), kindly furnish information accordingly. Due to their disproportionate representation in a competitive business environment, applicants whose principal shareholders are PWDs and who present good business cases for grant support will obtain a little edge over other grant applicants.
Business Details Full Business Name: Complete the form with the exact business name on your business registration certificate
Business TIN: Your business TIN can be obtained from the Registrar General Department. See the eligibility requirement table above for further explanation.

Town, District, and Region: State town in which business is located. If a business has other branches or annexes, state only the town where the main business is operated from. State district in which town of main business operation is located, and finally state the region of business operation. For multi-branches, state location, region, district, and region where the head office is located.

Business location address: This refers to the physical address or the address of the main business location (for applicants with operations from other branches, the state only the Head Office Branch as your business location or physical address.

GPS Address: GPS Address could be obtained by downloading the Ghana Post GPS.

Business Branches: State location or physical address(es) of all other business branches, if any.

Nearest Landmark: State the nearest landmark to the main business location and a description of how GEA staff might trace or access your physical location or address.

Business Phone: State the most reliable contact phone number(s) of the main business contact person or an authorized representative of the business.

Email address: supply email address(es) through which main points of contact/authorized representative might be reached.

Business Sector: from the options provided, tick or select only one business sector under which your business operates. The grant program is limited to actors within the Agriculture/Agro-processing, manufacturing, textile and garment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical companies engaged in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as companies other than pharmaceutical companies locally producing PPEs. For agriculture companies, please note that only businesses undertaking to process (Agriculture/Agro-processing) are eligible for support. This is because the GEA grants program seeks to support value-added economic activities.

Years in operation: Start-ups (defined for the purposes of this grant program as those firms commencing business operations in March 2022 or thereafter) are not eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Response Grant. Businesses that were in operation prior to the cut-off time of March 2022 and have not shut down operations up to this moment are the ones expected to apply for the grant program. Enterprises that have been in operation prior to March 2022 but merely formalized the entity in March 2022 or after may apply so long as they can prove their existence prior to their formalization in March 2022 or thereafter. Even so, please note that firms that commenced operations earlier than 2022 will have an advantage over any firm that commenced operations say in January 2022 although the latter firm falls outside the cut-off eligible date of March 2022. In essence, applicants who fail to submit either a financial statement or income statements for 2019, 2020, and 2021 would lose major points during an assessment of grant applications.

Note: Applicants must upload or submit Financial Statement. It is preferable that only the page that details key financial metrics including the Annual Sales, Cost of Sales, Gross profit, expenses, and net profit for 2019 to 2021. These metrics can fit on only one page. Alternative, applicants who prefer to submit an Income Statement for the period requested, may download at no cost, the Income Statement Template at gea.gov.gh/getp/

Current Employee Size: Data request for current employee size requires applicants to provide information as of the grant application date. This data request is not to be confused with historical employee size (required for 2019, 2020, and 2021). The current employee size is disaggregated into full-time male and female, and part-time male and female. Applicants should complete only as pertains to their current situation. For example, where no part-time staff is used, enter the value of zero. The age disaggregation is requested for the total number of staff or employees from less than 18 years, between 18 to 35, between 36 to 45, and 46 years and above. Applicants should state the number of employees who fall within each data disaggregation or set, the total of which must equal the total current employees captured under ‘employee size’ at the application date.

Trade Association/Union: state whether your business belongs to any trade association/union and indicate the name of the association or union. This is no requirement for successfully accessing the COVID-19 grants support. Any response to this question will not in any way influence your chances of success in receiving or being rewarded with grants. This question is solely for Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) purposes.

Shareholding structure: Applicants are expected to complete the shareholding structure on the application form and clearly indicate the name of each shareholder, and the corresponding Ghana Card Number (or Passport number for Directors/shareholders who do not yet have the Ghana Card. Gender of shareholder and shareholding percentage of each shareholder will be captured too. For sole proprietor businesses, state the name, gender, and TIN (personal TIN and business TIN are the same for businesses registered as enterprises). Sole proprietors or businesses registered as enterprises will indicate 100 percent ownership in the space provided for shareholding percentage.

Grant requested: amount requested by applicants will be in Ghana cedis. They must be stated in figures.

Expected grants expenditure must also be completed as follows: State the specific plan or expected expenditure item for which grants payouts will fund the quantity, the unit cost, and the corresponding amount. The amount should be the quantity of the expenditure item multiplied by the unit cost of the same line expenditure item. The total under the ‘Amount’ column must be equal to the requested grant amount.

Business Performance

Exports: The second phase of the COVID-19 Response Grant will have a strong focus on Ghanaian export firms that fall within the Small and Medium Enterprise category. Export firms and export-oriented SMEs will therefore be awarded extra scores and therefore have a nudge over non-exporting SMEs in the scoring of grant applications. GEA’s due diligence process will determine the veracity of export data supplied at the grant application stage. Applicants who supply any false or exaggerated claims of export data that cannot be supported with requisite documentation at the due diligence stage of the process will be terminated or canceled and no longer be eligible for the grants even if they scored high and are shortlisted. Applications supplying false or exaggerated data shall therefore be declared null and void. The table under ‘Business Performance’ requires historical business performance data for 2019, 2020, and 2021 to determine the impact of the pandemic on applicants.  The format of data request for historical performance is like that requesting for ‘current employee size’ at the date of application. The key difference is that the ‘current employee size’ data must be those data at the date of the grant application whereas the historical performance indicator data request is for the period 2019 to 2021. Failure to supply these critical data will result in very low scores. Provision of false data when determined at the due diligence stage will result in the cancellation of the grant application. The grants program recognizes that although most SMEs have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and become vulnerable to the ravages of the pandemic, there are however some SMEs who have been resilient and rather performed well because of careful/deliberate planning, innovation, adoption of technology, and other enduring business practices. The grants program will support SMEs across both spectrums of negatively impacted and positively impacted SMEs through compensation for losses or drawbacks suffered because of the pandemic as well as reward those SMEs who have thrived through productivity, financial growth, and competitiveness under the COVID-19 pandemic. GEA, therefore, expects that applicants will present accurate information and data in response to the portions of the application form requesting historical data. Annual sales/turnover data will be validated by financial statements, income statements, or business bank statements. Questions about the negative impact as well as the positive impact of COVID-19 are asked under the business performance section of the application form. Applicants who complete the negative impact questions must skip the positive impact questions on the application form and vice versa.

Business Development Services Needs: Applicants must select or tick at least three business development services for their training needs.

Expected Results of Grant Support: The expected grant results afford grant applicants the opportunity to justify why their grant request ought to be considered and prioritized over other competing grant applicants who perhaps scored equal points as theirs. The CRG Programme is a challenging fund and therefore highly competitive. Holding all other factors such as eligibility, scoring, and due diligence constant, applicants will distinguish their grant requests over other applying SMEs only by how clearly they articulate the expected outcomes and projections of the impact of the grants on their businesses. The table requesting grant impact must therefore be completed excellently by grant applicants to set their applications apart.

How did you hear about the COVID-19 Response Grant? Kindly furnish the grants program with information by ticking or selecting all the possible ways through which information about the grants program by GEA was obtained.

Disclaimer and signature Read through each of the disclaimer points and tick the ‘confirm’ box assenting to your full comprehension of the application document and having correctly completed same, sign off, and date the document as well as provide information about the authorized representative signing the application form including name and position.
Learn about Eligibility Requirements for the COVID-19 Response Grant programme
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