Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The COVID-19 Response Grant Programme – Phase Two

Grants under the GET Project supports non-resource-based sectors. What does this mean?

Firms within the resource-based sectors refers to extractive economic activities such as petroleum, oil & gas, quarry, and sand wining as examples. Non-resource-based sectors are therefore those business activities outside the extractive value-chain or linkage activities. For this specific COVID-19 Response Grant, the GEA is supporting five non-resource-based sectors including:
a) Agriculture/Agro-processing
b) Manufacturing,
c) Textiles and Garments,
d) Food and Beverages (Hotels, restaurants, and cafes DO NOT fall under the Food and Beverages sector. Hotels, restaurants, and cafes fall under Tourism and Hospitality. Examples of firms in the Food & Beverages sector being targeted by the GEA SME Grant Programme include those in the production of snack food, grain products, edible oils, and dairy products, carbonated beverage producers, health & nutritional drinks, and the like.
e) Pharmaceuticals production firms and companies in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Are all firm types or enterprises eligible for the grants?

Only Small and Medium Enterprises are eligible for the grants.

What is the definition of Small and Medium Enterprises?

Small enterprises are defined as those firms either employing between 6-30 and/or making sales between $25K to $1M (that is, GHS180K to GHS7.2M) per annum. Medium enterprises are defined as those firms either employing between 31-100 and/or sales of more than $1M up to $3M (or over GHS7.2M up to GHS21.6M) per annum. For any firm to be eligible, it must qualify either through the employee size and/or its sales/turnover.

Would applicants be made to repay the grants in some future time?

Grants are non-repayable. Grant beneficiaries would therefore not be required to repay their grants in some future time.

Would the grants be prized in USD or GHS?

In Ghana Cedi. Even if grants are prized in USD, grant beneficiaries would receive payments in GHS equivalent.

What is the maximum grant amount that can be paid?

The programme will not pay grants beyond the Ghana Cedis equivalent of $30,000.

What could an SME use its grants for?

Examples of grants support activities may include purchase of raw materials, equipment purchases, maintenance, installation and repair costs, fees and subscription, marketing expenses, payment for business development services, etc.

What may grants NOT be used for?

For ineligible spending activities, please read the “Exclusions List” in the Grants Application Guide located at

Will the use of the grants be monitored?

Yes. GEA shall review or check all expenditure related to the grants paid to each beneficiary to ensure conformity with the Grants Agreement.

What is the expected grant period?

The grant is expected to be completely spent within three months after signing the Grant Agreement.

Will any unspent grants after the three months grants period be refunded to GEA?

So long as the planned expenditure activities is on-going with reasonable explanations for any delays in executing the agreed grant activities, the GEA will not ask for a refund of any unspent grants. However, should the delay in spending not be justified, the GEA may demand a complete refund of unspent grants to be pooled into a fund for re-distribution to other eligible SMEs.

Will there be any cost-share/co-investment by Grant Beneficiaries? If so, what are the cost-sharing ratios?

The COVID-19 Response Grant is not a matching grant. It is a 100 percent, and a single disbursement grants payable upon a fully executed Grant Agreement and will therefore not require any proof of cost-sharing/co-investment. If, however, any agreed grant activity cannot be completed only with the grant amount allocated for that activity, the Grant Beneficiary will be expected to match-up any funding shortfalls for those activities.

Is the COVID-19 Response Grant a national grants programme?

Yes. The COVID-19 grants programme is national in its outreach. This second phase of the COVID-19 Response Grant programme will focus strongly on exporting firms and export-oriented SMEs.

What are the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 grants

SMEs with majority Ghanaian shareholding (51% or more) are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Response Grant. Applying SMEs must have the following documents:

i. Business Registration Certificate or Certificate of Incorporation,
ii. A business Tax Identification Number (TIN),
iii. All shareholders and directors of the business must have and supply their Ghana Card Number, in lieu of which their Personal TIN must be supplied,
iv. All business owners must have valid identity documents issued by a Ghanaian government authority such as a passport or the Ghana Card,
v. Businesses which commenced operations in or after March 2022 are deemed as startups and therefore not eligible and should not apply,
vi. Submit either Financial Statements, or Income Statements for the years 2019 to 2021. Applicants who fail to submit either Financial Statements, Income Statements (Download template for Income Statement on the GEA website at for 2019, 2020, and 2021 would lose major points during assessment of grant applications,
vii. Multiple applications under different business names will not be allowed. That is, persons who own multiple enterprises can apply with only one enterprise even if all their enterprises might be eligible to apply. Relatives in the same household who own separate businesses even if eligible, may apply with only one of the eligible enterprises,
viii. Only Small and Medium Enterprises are eligible for this grant programme. Micro enterprises and large enterprises/corporates are not eligible and should not apply.

Can an applicant submit Mobile Money (Momo) statements in addition to business bank statements or even in place of business bank statements?

No. Applicants must upload or submit Financial Statement. It is preferrable 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 Income Statement for the period requested, may download at no cost, the Income Statement Template on the GEA website at

In place of business bank statement, can an applicant submit personal bank statements as proof of sales/turnover for a given period?

No. For consistency’s sake, GEA will require all grant applicants to submit either a Financial Statement or an Income Statement in the exact format explained in response to question 15 above.

Must applicants’ financial statements be audited?

Not necessarily. Where audited financial statements are not available, applicants may submit unaudited financial statements.

Are beneficiaries of other GEA programmes such as the CAP Buss eligible for the Grant Scheme?

Both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the CAP Buss may apply for the COVID-19 grants.

Can Grant Beneficiaries under Phase One of the COVID-Response Grant apply for this Phase Two?

Grant Beneficiaries under the Phase One of the COVID-19 Response Grants are not eligible for this second phase and should not apply.

Can a beneficiary of the First Phase of the COVID-19 Response Grant apply for a Top-up in this Second Phase of the Programme especially when prices and costs of the equipment has been increased?

No. Beneficiaries of Phase One are expected to have completed their grant activities and will therefore not have to await any top-up of their grant funds to complete those activities agreed in the Grant Agreement.

Grant Beneficiaries are expected to match or contribute from their own resources any increment(s) to the cost of the machinery/equipment or activity costs due to any general price increases.

If the grant awarded to an SME in the First Phase is not adequate to purchase the equipment required, will the enterprise be permitted to invest the grant funds over a period and use it upon maturity?

Where grant received under Phase One of the COVID-Response Grant Programme is insufficient to undertake the agreed activities, the Grant Beneficiary should reach out to GEA to discuss their peculiar situation. Beneficiaries of the First Phase must not invest the grant funds but utilize them immediately upon receipt of funds transfer from GEA. The Grant Agreement dictates a full refund of the grants where unutilized completely three months after full disbursement by GEA.

Can an owner of two or more businesses apply for these businesses separately?

No. Multiple applications of related parties under different business names will not be allowed. That is, persons who own multiple enterprises can apply with only one enterprise even if all their enterprises might be eligible to apply. Relatives in the same household who own separate businesses even if eligible, may apply with only one of the eligible enterprises. Failure to comply with this directive will lead to forfeiture of grant opportunity even if awarded before due diligence uncovers such an anomaly.

Can start-ups apply?

Start-ups are not eligible for this grant. Businesses which commenced operations in or after March 2020 (as evidenced by their business registration documents) are deemed as start-ups and should not apply.

Can SMEs who have been in operation prior to their formalization but falling outside the cut-off point of March 2022 apply?

SMEs that commenced operations and have been in business before formalization of their enterprise in March 2022 or afterwards are eligible and may apply for the grants 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 financial statement or Income Statement for 2019, 2020 and 2021 would lose major points during assessment of grant applications.

The source document to prove formalization is the business registration certificate or certificate to commence business obtained from the Registrar General’s Department or District/Municipal Assemblies.

How will applicants determine whether their applications have been successful?

The priority communication shall be with successful and selected applicants. Selected applicants will be contacted within one week of grant approval.

How many SMEs will be selected for the COVID-19 grants?

The COVID-19 Response Grant will be competitively awarded. That is, grants will be given to the best applicants using a set of pre-determined assessment criteria jointly established by a local team of experts and a team from the World Bank Group. Beneficiaries of this grant programme will therefore be limited to between 250 to 350 SMEs.

What are the assurances for transparency in the assessment of grant applicants and subsequent award?

The GEA is committed to transparently assessing grant applicants and ensuring that only the best applicants receive the COVID-19 grants. A key step to ensuring transparency is the limit of human interferences in both the grants application and assessment processes. An electronic platform has therefore been procured for both application and assessment of applicants to enhance transparency.

Can applicants successfully upload their information onto the electronic platform even when they are ineligible?

The electronic grant application portal is tailored to the needs of the application process and is robustly designed to automatically reject any applications that do not meet a set of pre-determined criteria. Ineligible applications will therefore be automatically rejected by the electronic platform and segregated into a location for ‘rejected applications’ on the technology platform.

How would supporting documents be submitted?

The electronic grant application platform will allow for the upload of all digital documents. Preferred format is PDF.

Are applications in the name of associations allowable?

No. Applicants should not seek grants in the name of their industry-specific associations or cooperatives, but rather as independent and separate enterprises based on GEA’s classification of SMEs explained above and in the Grants Application Guide.

During grant implementation, is a change in grant use allowable? If yes, what are the procedures to do follow?

Grant purpose for each beneficiary is based on the peculiar challenges identified at the application, due diligence, review, defense, and recommendation stages. Because the entire request and subsequent assessment of grant needs and interventions have been carefully thought through in response to the challenges, a change in the grant usage(s) after full execution of the agreement and implementation of same will imply a sudden cessation of the problems earlier identified. This scenario is unlikely. Otherwise, it will undermine the successful achievement of targets needed to resolve the problem(s) identified. A change in grant usage will therefore be very rare.

Where a compelling reason(s) are established for a change in grant use, an addendum to the Grant Agreement will be executed to effect agreed upon alterations to the main agreement.

How long does it take for a beneficiary to receive the funds after signing the Contract with GEA?

It takes about two weeks for grant funds to be transferred into Grant Beneficiaries’ business bank account.
Learn about Eligibility Requirements for the COVID-19 Response Grant programme
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