The Association of Businesswomen of Serbia (Udruženje Poslovnih Žena Srbije) has written a letter to the Prime Minister and the Government with a request to help SMEs survive the pandemic. The letter proposes the urgent payment of subsidies equal to the amount of the minimum wage for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Here is the letter in its entirety:
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of the President, the Government and the Ministry of Finance to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises overcome the new economic crisis, and we note that the first package of support measures has helped us not to lay off workers and somewhat overcome the first wave (of the pandemic).
The fear of the consequences of the epidemic on our businesses is unfortunately not diminishing, given the growing trend of the number of people infected and the effects it has on our businesses. Declining demand, decimated workers, and cash flow issues are just a few of the problems. Last week, the Union of Employers announced a series of measures with which we fully agree. We have also conducted a survey among our members on what measures would help them survive the next six months.
First of all, the collected data show that not all economic sectors are equally affected; there are those which have also recorded growth, so, while being aware that we should be supportive, we suggest that in this wave, you only help those companies which very existence is in jeopardy and have demonstrated they are quality companies as evidenced by their solvency reports which should show that they have been financially sound for at least three years, have paid taxes and salary contributions and have not been convicted of economic crimes. The criterion for being defined as being in existential danger should be that this year, in the period March-December 2020, their production dropped by at least 1/3 compared to the same period last year. At this time, we are only proposing an urgent measure for such companies.
We hope that this proposal will be useful to you to devise measures that will help the most vulnerable companies to get out of this situation with the least consequences as a society and economy. We are available for advice and comments according to our capabilities.”
The Association defines urgent measures (for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) as a subsidy in the amount of the minimum wage for workers on forced leave, exempt from taxes and contributions. The subsidy would be paid for the next 3 months.
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