SMEs: Collection of receivables as the biggest problem

Collection of receivables, very limited access to favourable loans and subsidies, and the substantial number of taxes and fees that they have to pay are the main problems for micro, small and medium companies in Serbia.

Proprietors of SMEs say that, in addition to having to pay numerous para-fiscal levies, new companies have limited access to financial resources and favourable loans which are mainly intended for larger companies.

Milica Calija, who has founded the company Andjeli Delicije with her husband six years ago that produces healthy cakes, points out that the main problem that she faced in the beginning of her company was that the majority of the loans and subsidies are available only to bigger companies.

“There are very few favourable financing programmes for small enterprises that have been founded two or three years ago,” says Calija and adds that one of the usual conditions for subsidies is for a company to have at least 10 workers.

She also says that new companies should be exempt from paying taxes and social contributions in the first year or two of business, because, in that period, they are still struggling to generate serious revenues. Calija also says that the main quality that people who want to start a company should possess is entrepreneurial spirit.

Mina Rakicevic, the director and co-owner of Delikos which produces dried meat products, estimates that many companies in Serbia have a problem with the collection of receivables.

“The state has tried to better regulate this segment, but it has failed in doing so. It would be much easier for us who run family businesses if this area was properly regulated”, Rakicevic adds.

Kosara Dangic Milentijevic, the co-owner of Brewery Cabinet, the first craft brewery in the Balkans that she and her husband founded in 2014, agrees with Rakicevic.

She says that, in addition to the numerous taxes that SMEs must pay, one of the basic problems is also finding adequate employees and trained workers.

(Vecernje Novosti, 01.04.2018)

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