Serbian business community is aware of the seriousness of the current situation and the crisis that is yet to come, and therefore, while stating that it is an absolute priority to save lives, they underline that we must also think about the “day after” and how to overcome the current problems.
Tourism, transport and logistics are economic sectors that are currently the hardest hit and many companies already know that their March profits will be decimated and they are also seriously afraid of not being able to operate in the months to come.
That is why most business associations have already submitted proposals and requests to the state for devising support measures that would help companies to survive in the next period of crisis which is caused by the contagion of the coronavirus in Serbia.
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The main measures concern the reduction or exemption from paying taxes and payroll contributions and interest-free or cheaper loans for businesses. The business community also says that, in the current situation, it would also mean a great deal to companies for the state to approve deferred payment of VAT or income tax and has welcomed the moratorium on payment of loans.
For the sectors that are the most affected, such as tourism and hospitality, cultural industry and international transport, they propose to abolish payroll contributions and taxes.
Hoteliers expect government subsidies
The President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Čadež spoke with the representatives of hotel chains and said that the hotel industry was the first to be affected due to the high number of cancelled bookings. He announced that certain measures would be considered, such as the deferred payment of loans, and possibly a reduction of some tax liabilities.
He added that he was pleased that the Serbian Government understood the problems of hoteliers and that there had been some talks.
Travel agencies want vouchers and interest-free loans
The National Association of Serbian Travel Agencies, JUTA, asked the state institutions to assist travel agencies and introduce measures to protect between 5,000 and 7,000 employees that work in the tourism industry, as well as thousands of citizens who have already paid for their holidays.
In a letter, JUTA asked the government to introduce value-added vouchers and provide interest-free loans, as well as for travel agencies to be free from paying payroll tax and contributions during the crisis.
Employers: payroll tax and contribution relief, reallocation of the budget
Nebojsa Atanackovic of the Union of Employers of Serbia, said that by reducing company’s obligations, i.e. exempting them from paying taxes and contributions, company owners would be able to pay salaries to their employees.
NALED devises 10 business support measures
The National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) has proposed 10 measures to support the economy and preserve jobs threatened by the coronavirus, including temporary tax cuts and wage subsidies or deferred payments for small businesses and vulnerable sectors.
The measures proposed also include the provision of loans to businesses with state support and the reimbursement of one-off financial assistance to vulnerable companies and citizens who lost their jobs.
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