Businesses have been advised to devise new strategies of conducting more education on COVID-19 and strict adherence to protocols to ensure safe business activities.
They have been also advised to patronize the use of delivery services and use of social media adverts rather than the use of traditional approach where it is in person and with more contact.
This is as a result of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Despite the surge, some businesses in the Western Region, however, continued to see a boost as they seem to have a hold on managing the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy and their operations.
A series of studies conducted by the Research Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) has revealed that investment shot up by some 2 per cent in the final quarter of 2020 in businesses in the region.
The findings also showed that, COVID-19 has adversely affected businesses in the Region as sales had fallen drastically with third quarter recording about 65.3 per cent and for the fourth quarter, 67.1 per cent.
The report stated that, the year 2020 has been a challenging one for almost all businesses across the globe.
According to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for STCCI, Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy, “as we bring to an end the final report for the year 2020, we are hopeful that the challenges as well as observations made throughout this survey will be incorporated into businesses as we hope for a more prosperous and business-friendly year come 2021”.
The STCCI also observed various interventions made by the government to curtail the adverse effect of the COVID-19 Deputy Chief Executive Officer for STCCI, Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy pandemic in order to keep SME’s within the Western Region of Ghana and the entire country ‘alive’ .
Speaking at the launch of the 2021 Business Condition Report held at the Anaji Choice Mart in Takoradi and also carried live on Facebook, Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for STCCI, indicated that capacity extension, need for efficiency in operations, and replacement demand have been the top most considerations for businesses in the region over the past two quarters.
He said, “due to the advocacy made overtime about the need to increase investments in safe guarding the environment, businesses increased their investment of 1.7 per cent that was recorded in Quarter 3 to 8.4 per cent in Quarter 4 of 2020”.
This, according to him, could be sustained and possibly increased to respond to climate change issues.
“Irrespective of the challenges that were encountered in the last two quarters, about 77 per cent of businesses as at the fourth anticipates that things will get better in first quarter of 2021”, Nii Kpani Addy said.
Most businesses trust that measures that have been affected along their operations would begin to yield some dividends in the New Year.
The current business situation according to the report is 57.1% satisfactory.
On sector expectations for the next quarter Nii Kpani projected that “general merchant, services and agricultural sectors had the highest expectation”.
The construction, manufacturing, and logistic sectors were indifferent to having better expectation whiles the oil and gas and other sectors expressed low expectations in the coming quarter.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Vincent Annan explaining the rationale behind the survey and the manifesto said it will be forwarded to the appropriate businesses to help them make informed decisions when it comes creating a conducive business environment.
He noted, “the Business Condition Survey was introduced by the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2016 with the aim of gathering empirical data to support the chamber’s advocacy interventions“.
The report was prepared in partnership with HandelSkammer Hamburg, DeutscheZusammenarbeit -German Cooperation, Sequa, Partner of German Business, Zeal Logistics and other partners of the STCCI.
Story By: Marie Aziz-Tunde