In recent years, the number of small business owners in Serbia has increased, which is especially evident in the catering, tourism and food production and delivery sectors. This year is different.
Over 300,000 small business owners are registered in our country, which means that over a million people live directly or indirectly from this type of economy. However, in the last year, the number of small business owners decreased by about 6,000.
One of the big problems they face is unfair competition, considering that there are still those business owners who work illegally and financial inspectors are particularly tough on them and are known to close a business down due to a minor violation.
It is estimated that there is currently a shortage of between 20,000 and 25,000 workers in the hospitality industry in Serbia, both in small and large catering establishments. Georgi Genov, the director of the HORECA Association, notes that those workers who are trained waiters and cooks can get a permit to work abroad very quickly.
“It is not really difficult for them to find a job anywhere – Austria, Croatia… This is because there is a shortage of workforce in most countries, especially in the hotel industry,” adds Genov.
To compensate for the shortage of staff in the hospitality industry, Serbia has started importing cooks, waiters, bartenders and hotel staff mostly from India and Pakistan.
The number of foreign workers in Serbia has been constantly increasing in recent years, and in the first eight months of this year more than 32,000 work permits have been issued to foreigners, while last year, it issued a total of 35,000 work permits.
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