COVID-19 wrecks businesses in Western Region

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A report by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) has shown that businesses in Western Region have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as about 90 percent of them have been hit one way or the other.

According to the Business Condition Report (BCR) Quarter 1, 2020, 58 percent of businesses in the region, per the survey conducted, said the pandemic has led to high prices of raw materials, import taxes coupled with low demand for goods other than food and food items. This, they said, have affected their operations badly.

The survey adds that 40 percent of businesses failed to plough back whilst 32 percent of businesses were satisfied and 13 percent dares to make giant step to re-investing in capacity extension, customer requirement and product innovation.

Also, preliminary data available points to the fact that profit margins have significantly reduced, with some other businesses collapsing in the process.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Deputy Chief Executive of STCCI, Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy, said the general assessment of the survey indicates business was bad and another research on COVID’s impact not yet published shows that there are some businesses that did not get any profit at all in April.

He adds: “There was one gold dealer who had decided to close down and the staff had to beg her not to but to sacrifice their salaries with the impression that business will be back to its normal. This shows that businesses have been bad and it has affected everything, even carters.”

He advised the business community to think of going digital for their businesses to thrive during this period.

The survey, was conducted by STCCI with support from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and Sequa to provide quarterly research on businesses to know their challenges, provide relevant data for planning and policy, as well as ensure informed decision making.

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