News Belarusian (Belarus): to close or risk? Belarusian business is going through coronaries

As the business is experiencing a pandemic

Coronaries had a significant impact on the operation of small and medium enterprises in Belarus. If in January-February, according to the survey of the IPM Research center, about half (46.8%) of private companies planned to expand business and only a small portion (2.8 percent) to reduce its activity in the spring, the situation has changed dramatically.

As follows from the April sample survey, Center for economic research outreach, almost two thirds of businesses (64%) reported a fall in revenue amid coronaries. And 40% of micro, small and medium enterprises reported a decline in revenue by more than 20%.

Among the most affected sectors — the service sector (hotels, restaurants, art, sports, entertainment). Among the traditional industries more likely to lose the transport. Trade, construction and industry, while injured less and trying to adapt to the situation to get out of it with minimal losses.

Amid falling revenue companies try to optimize their costs. Workers reduce salaries and bonuses, they are transferred to part-time and sent on leave without pay. 5% of companies announced the suspension of activities, 17% — on the dismissal of the employees.

“The dismissal of employees is a natural measure, especially in the sector of small and medium enterprises, where costs of labor, often the most significant source of the cost. This is especially true of the service sector. They are not really a lot of options of what to cut,” — said in comments to senior researcher outreach Rodion frost.

What does business expect from the state

The business expects support from the state. Without her own airbags, one-third of businesses last only a couple of months or even less.

At the end of April the government adopted the first package of anti-crisis measures, which have disappointed the business community. Business provided a reprieve for payment of property taxes and lease payments in the second and third quarters, with subsequent installments until the end of the year. Moreover, the final decision is left to the mercy of local authorities, and they do not hurry.

On 30 April the Ministry of economy held a meeting with representatives of business unions. Her leadership of the Minsk city Executive Committee and Minsk oblast Executive Committee reported on the development of provisions to whom and how will be provided tax benefits and rent. The documents themselves may appear closer to the end of may.

“Nothing is ready yet. They develop the situation. I think at least one or two weeks these provisions will be more consistent. They say that the quarter was far from over. Like, will you have time to proletariat, and all will be well,” said one of the participants of the meeting, co-chair of the Republican Confederation of entrepreneurship Viktor Margelov.

The business community believes that the measures taken are insufficient. Businesses waiting for tax holidays, reduction of deductions in Fund of social protection of the population, the moratorium on testing. The government promised a new package of documents, but business associations in their details are not dedicated.

“Next week should consider a second package of documents on support of the economy. In this package, unfortunately, this is not introduced. Business put questions about the deferral of taxes, suspension of inspections and control activities and to support individual industries, such as tourism or catering. Perhaps in this direction will be taken some documents,” said Director and co-Chairman of the Board of the Business Union of entrepreneurs and employers named kunyavskii Zhanna Tarasevich.

Another possible measure is to support workers. The state will pay them up to the minimum subsistence level (275,48 ruble), if the company will not be able to provide even this level of wages.

“This is likely to be the most important measure so far adopted or announced. If it is accepted, it will give some help to businesses and slow down the process of reducing staff. This measure will support people and help the business in times of crisis to retain staff,” said Rodion frost.

Business looks for additional support, but can not achieve clarity by authorities.

“We sit on its last legs and don’t know to dismiss people and to close business or to incur large costs to continue the business and to risk in the hope that there will come a good situation and will remain the funds to open this or a new business. Many of this situation. The business is waiting for clarity”, — said Viktor Margelov.