Tamale: Covid-19 eroded our capitals – Business owners

Business owners in Tamale in the Northern Region have lamented the negative and devastating effect of Covid-19 on their businesses.

The women say it eroded their capitals, destructed their supply chain and collapsed some of their enterprises.

They say they’re yet to recover their business operations back to normalcy due to the current hardship faced in the country.

This revelation came to light in the Open Society Initiative for West Africa’s (OSIWA) town hall meeting organized by BudgIT Ghana, a CSO in Ghana and in Partnership with OXLADE and Open Society Foundation.

The town hall meeting with market stakeholders was to assess the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and to determine the resilience strategies employed to salvage and sustain the businesses during the pre- and post-covid era.

The town hall meeting was under the theme “Pre- and post-Covid-19 Pandemic socio-Economic Resilience Strategies: Impact and Lessons from Stakeholders”.

Participants highlighted that their businesses almost collapsed due to restrictions, lockdown of their trading partners in Accra and Kumasi and the closure of the borders.

This led to significant destruction of their business operations and eroded their capital.

Hajia Mariam, a market queen who is in the trading business for over 23 years, shared her experience. “The Covid really had negative impact on our business and even our families’ livelihoods. Goods were not bought because all our customers were restricted from moving around and to purchase our products and we needed to feed our families so we spent our operating capital in feeding our families”

Business owners especially market women in Northern region claimed they did not receive any support from government although they heard of those government support initiatives.

“We were hoping that those support initiatives will reach us so we can bounce back with our businesses. Unfortunately, we can’t tell where it landed and ended”. A 49 year old trader, Madam Abibata, lamented.

A lead Researcher of BudgIT Ghana, Mr. Khiddir Iddris, espoused that the CSO also has an initiative in Covid-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) where an assessment is done on how covid funds were raised and spent in order to enhance transparency in government expenditure on Covid fund.

Mr. Kamal-deen Hadrat Yussif took participants on the Budget Access project of BudgIT Ghana.

He indicated the effort of BudgIT Ghana in simplifying the National budget and making it accessible to citizens to enhance citizens’ awareness and participatory governance.