Lack of funding sources for Serbian SMEs

“After 10 years, the problem of the lack of adequate sources of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises has not been solved: if they want to invest, one business owner has to provide 84 dinars out of 100 dinars out of their own pocket,” says Dragana Stanojevic, director of the USAID’s Cooperation for Growth Project.

For ten years, USAID has been surveying a thousand companies, in order to show the structure of the Serbian economy. The survey showed that most companies have kept the same number of employees despite the pandemic with slightly fewer companies hiring new workers. Also, the survey showed that recovery is visible in terms of income, profit and demand.

According to the survey, around 30% of companies have reported a drop in income, which is better than last year. Furthermore, in 2020, 22% of respondents said their income drop was more than 30% while this year it is 11%. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are significantly more affected by the crisis.

So, what are the main problems that businesses have been facing in Serbia? “Although the tax payment procedure itself has been simplified, the amount of taxes still remains a problem, as do a large number of parafiscal levies. Insufficient transparency and the lack of public-private dialogue remain the problems, which have worsened during the crisis,” Stanojevic points out.

This year, less than half of businesspeople have said that the shadow economy is a problem, even though it ranks third on the list of issues that need to be resolved to achieve faster growth.

(N1, 21.10.2021)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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