What do businesses expect from the announced support measures

Practically everyone in Serbia thinks that the coronavirus pandemic will have a negative impact on doing business, and even 74% businesses estimate that these effects will last from six months to a year, it is shown by a research performed by NALED among 110 companies and entrepreneurs.

Among the surveyed businesses, even 97% indicate that the emergency situation has a moderate or high negative impact on their operations, and the biggest challenges they are facing include the problems with collection and liquidity (for as much as two thirds of respondents), reduced demand (45%), as well as the problems with timely payment of salaries (32%), organization of work and timely payment of liabilities to the state.

- All businesses are eagerly waiting for tomorrow’s presentation of the support measures and even 89% think the most important would be to enable reduction or delay of payment for salary taxes and contributions, as this is the key measure that helps businesses survive. A half would also warmly embrace the state’s announced guarantee of favorable liquidity loans. Early on after the crisis emerged, NALED defined a set of 10 key measures for economic recovery, with special focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs, and we welcome the adoption of support measures announced by president Vučić – says NALED Executive Office Violeta Jovanović.

The survey shows that 63% of private companies expect their revenues to significantly drop due to the COVID-19 crisis – more than 50%. These primarily include businesses operating in tourism and hospitality, transport, environment protection and agriculture. The rest expect a moderate reduction of revenues, of up to 20%, primarily in sectors such as healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, IT, banks and law offices.

- Organizations expect that they will have to respond to the emergency situation by reducing the number of workers and the scope of production. The respondents estimate they will have to let go 18% of their work force (30 per company on average), if there are no support measures to help them. Approximately one in three would have to resort to this option, while one in five would give unpaid leave to employees. In this sense, support by the state is crucial in preventing major rise of unemployment – Jovanović adds.

If no support measures are provided by the state, 50% would try to overcome the crisis by cutting expenses (for workers and production), another stated option refers to the use of surplus revenues from the previous period, and the third most indicated method refers to bank loans, which once again confirm the importance of measures introduced by the National Bank of Serbia with the moratorium on the payment of loans, and the establishment of a state guarantee fund enabling banks to provide favorable liquidity loans for businesses.


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