Inside Gov’t Commitment To Support Small Businesses Ahead Of January, 2022 Full Reopening

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Last week President Yoweri Museveni reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reopen the full economy by January 2022 after two years of shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The schools and the whole economy will be open in January 2022, whether some people are vaccinated or not. Now that we have enough vaccines, the message is different, All those above the age of 18 years, come forward and be vaccinated,” President Museveni said.

Now the government has finally released the modalities for the disbursement of the Covid-19 relief package worth 200 Billion Shillings for small enterprises.

The fund was announced back in June as the government closed more sectors as part of the measures to contain the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mathias Kasaija, the Finance Minister said that eligible businesses to benefit from the fund will include all small businesses operated by individuals, groups, partnerships, and companies employing 5-49 people and with an annual turnover of 10 million to 100 million shillings.

“Under this arrangement, the government provided 100 billion shillings for the commencement of the fund, while participating financial institutions are expected to contribute the other 100 billion. The funds shall overall be supervised by the Bank of Uganda,” Minister Kasaija said.

According to Minister Kasaija, the fund aims to help small businesses to recover from the economic bruises caused COVID-19 pandemic.

In a bid to accelerate economic progress, last week Parliament passed the NSSF bill that seeks to among others allow mid-term access of up to 20 per cent to members who have reached the age of 45 years and above and also seeks to streamline the supervision of the Shs15 trillion NSSF Fund.

MP Flavia Kabahenda, the Gender, Labor, and Social Development parliamentary committee chairperson also said this money shall greatly support beneficiaries to recover from the financial hardship inflicted on them by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For two years now, several businesses including bars, performing arts and music, hospitality, education, and tourism sector among others have been critically devastated and disrupted the economy.

The impact of COVID-19 on small enterprises caused significant economic disruptions, but the government has announced total intervention to financially support the sectors.

Currently, Uganda through the Ministry of Health has embarked on mass vaccination of all citizens from the age of 18 and above ahead of full reopening next year in January.

 

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