Statistical Service begins survey on business impact of COVID-19

Researchers will seek to identify the most effective measures taken by wealth creators to forestall effects of the disease

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, will begin to conduct a tracker survey from today to assess the impact of the coronavirus disease on business in Ghana.

A statement issued by the Ghana Statistical Service announced that the exercise will last for 25 days.

Researchers will use telephone interviews to collect data for the survey. It will identify and measure the impact of the coronavirus disease on businesses of all sizes operating in the country, other than micro-enterprises.

Mitigating impact

“The survey will also assess measures put in place by businesses to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, as well as efforts to build better recovery for businesses,” the GSS said.

The survey’s outcome will enable the Government of Ghana and its development partners to propose further measures to alleviate the impact of the disease on business.

On 21 May the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) launched a GHC1 billion stimulus package: the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme. The business support scheme has since been inundated with inquiries from business owners.

The Government Statistician, Samuel Kobina Annim, said that results from the survey will inform policy direction, helping to protect jobs and safeguard progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The findings will also offer insights into keeping alive the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’s potential as a tool to handle future pandemics and protect jobs and businesses.

Data is confidential

The Statistical Service has assured business owners of confidentiality and said that collecting the data will not require payment of any money to researchers. Under no circumstances should any establishment be required to pay money to anyone involved in the survey.

“The Ghana Statistical Service counts on the co-operation of establishments, media and the general public to ensure the success of this exercise,” it said.

From lockdown to layoff

Ghana has so far recorded and confirmed 6,808 cases of the novel coronavirus disease, with 2,070 recoveries and 32 deaths. The country recorded its first two cases of COVID-19 on 12 March.

On 29 March, President Akufo-Addo imposed restrictions on movement for two weeks in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi areas, as well as Kasoa and Tema. The restrictions were extended by a further week on 12 April.

The lockdown had a significant impact on economic activity, leading to the layoff of staff in the travel and hospitality industries, education and other sectors.

Fred Dzakpata

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* Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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