A series of studies conducted by the Research Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) reveal that capital injection in businesses shot up by two per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 in the Western Region.
Comparatively 70 per cent of businesses maintained the same level of investment in their operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 while the third quarter recorded about 41 per cent of businesses maintaining the same quantum of investment.
This was in the Business Condition Report launched by the STCCI.
Mr Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for STCCI, said capacity extension, need for efficiency in operations and replacement demand had been the topmost considerations for businesses over the past two quarters.
In the third quarter of 2020, about 39.9 per cent of the investments made by businesses were into capacity extension, 18.2 per cent to replenish stock, and 16.2 per cent targeted enhancing efficiency of business activities.
Meanwhile most of the investment in the fourth quarter were largely in respect of increasing efficiency in satisfying customer requirement (38.3 per cent), and 26.7 per cent aimed at replenishing stock.
Mr Addy said due to the advocacy made overtime about the need to increase investments in safeguarding the environment, businesses increased their investment from 1.7 per cent in the third quarter to 8.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
He prayed that that would be sustained and possibly increased to respond to climate change issues.
The COVID-19 Impact on Businesses from the survey established an adverse effects on businesses in the third quarter, recording 65.3 per cent but increased to 67.1 per cent for the fourth quarter.
The cost of operations recorded 20.4 per cent increase in the third quarter and 18.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.
However, some businesses made gains mainly through compelling business innovations, with about 2.9 per cent of the respondents saying the pandemic brought about some innovation in their work.
Financial constraints, spiking price of raw materials and energy cost, domestic demand and COVID-19 were among several factors that impacted performance of businesses in the two quarters under review.
Mr Addy said irrespective of the challenges, about 77 per cent of businesses anticipated a brighter future in 2021.
The STCCI introduced the business condition survey in 2016 to gather empirical data to support the Chamber’s advocacy interventions.
It used Computer-Assisted Personal interviewing technique to collect information on the performance of businesses.