Like a game of dominoes, many businesses and organizations are taking a hit as the dreaded COVID-19 continues to sweep across the globe killing a significant number of the earth’s human population and incapacitating many.
Ghana had recorded 5,735 cases of the virus with 29 deaths at the time of this publication.
The fear of contracting the disease is another factor that has caused a lot of activities to grind to a halt, including business transactions.
In many countries, lockdowns have been imposed while schools, churches and organizations have been asked to stay away from work places.
In Ghana, one important sector of the economy and democracy that has taken a huge hit is the field of Broadcasting.
Some Media houses are laying off workers while some media workers are taking pay cuts.
Various Marketers and managers working with media houses in the Ashanti region are at their wits end as their revenues keep dwindling and collections become almost impossible.
Some General Managers as well as marketing managers anonymously told Bernard Buachi of ghanagong.com revenues are dropping and collections are increasingly becoming difficult due to the fact that clients’ businesses are down. “Many clients during and after the lock down have not opened their businesses. Others have opened but are not making any significant sales since people are still holed up in their rooms for fear of the disease. It is therefore difficult to get some of them to make payments for jobs already done and to also get such people to renew their advertisement contracts with the radio stations. They are all afraid the future does not look bright if the situation continues.
President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA); Mr. Andrew Danso-Aninkora also expressed similar sentiments saying “we are getting figures from 60% in terms of losses comparing what people were doing last year by this time. There was a sharp drop in March and a steeper drop in April.” He feared that if the industry does not get creative, many more employees will be suffering lay-offs and things could get worse for many broadcasters if the trend continues this way. He, however, appealed to media houses not to ride on COVID-19 to lay off workers since there is no job waiting for such laid-off employees.
He called on regulatory authorities to ease statutory payments including taxes, renewal of licenses, penalties etc. so that media houses can continue to pay their employees and to make the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also hinted that GIBA is awaiting clear modalities for the government’s stimulus package so that media houses will be able to also utilize the opportunity.
He encouraged all broadcasters to ensure that the measures laid down to curtail the spread of the pandemic are adhered to strictly in their various workplaces.