Around 85% of micro and small enterprises estimate that the pandemic will have a negative impact on their operations, 80% expect the demand for their products and services to drop during and after the pandemic, whereas around 30% believe that it will reflect through a reduction in the number of employees in companies – these are some of the results of a survey on the consequences of the pandemic, carried out by Smart Kolektiv and the Forum for Corporate Responsibility between March 25 and 29, 2020.
More than 70% companies expect the economic consequences of the pandemic to be felt for 6 months and more. Finally, more than 48% estimate that they won't be able to overcome these challenges without additional support.
In addition to the measures they expect from the state, entrepreneurs have also proposed other measures that large companies and the private sector could take in order to help micro and small companies.
Among the most common suggestions are: giving advantage to small domestic producers over imported goods, support in promotion and marketing, active involvement of large companies in the promotion of micro and small companies in the crisis period, complying with the existing invoice payment deadlines and/or shortening them, including and listing for free micro and small companies from Serbia in sales chains, help in the form of business and financial consulting and getting new clients, postponement of bill payment deadlines and the possibility of payment in installments, donations in goods or financial funds and liquidity loans.
– In order for the needs of these companies to be addressed in the upcoming period, we wanted to look into the challenges they are facing and how they can be supported so as to abate the economic and the social consequences of the pandemic. We will share the results of the research with our partners – representatives of the international community, the public sector and the rest of the private sector, so that we can all prepare and realize adequate measures together – stated Neven Marinovic, the director of Smart Kolektiv and the executive director of the Forum for Corporate Responsibility.
Although they are among those most affected by the crisis, more than one third of the companies have themselves got involved in the solidarity campaigns.
In the past days, entrepreneurs and small companies have donated meals, vital supplies and hygienic products, reoriented to producing hygienic products and protective equipment, or 3D printing of visors for the medical stuff, and volunteered in the distribution of help to the vulnerable citizens.