A long list of businesspeople and companies that have applied for the government’s assistance measures in the response to the coronavirus pandemic shows that the domestic business sector needs support. On the other hand, a list of large companies and businesses that have decided not to apply for the Serbian government’s set of measures because, according to them, they are managing to maintain an optimal level of business operations, is getting longer as well. They also underline that there are many legal entities, entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises that need subsidies and the government’s assistance more.
In the first wave of the health crisis, socially responsible companies expressed solidarity through a large number of donations to healthcare centres across Serbia responding to COVID-19. In this second wave, related to the mitigation of the consequences of coronavirus for the domestic business sector, “big ones” also confirm their solidarity by giving advantage in maintaining solvency to the companies that have suffered more adverse consequences in the crisis.
Large legal entities that have expressed solidarity include Philip Morris, which has supported equipping of healthcare centres with the necessary medical equipment through one of the highest corporate donations at a peak of the epidemic. The company, whose plant in Niš has managed to maintain the production continuity in compliance with the measures and guidelines for safety and prevention of coronavirus, has now reached the decision not to apply for the government’s assistance, namely subsidies approved upon the Serbian government’s Decree.
The MK Group with all of its subsidiaries has also decided to waive the assistance for the benefit of those who need business support more, noting that it is aware of that the fact that highest burden of the ongoing crisis is currently on micro-, small- and medium-sized companies, and that the adopted measures are primarily targeting that segment of economy.
Similar reasons have been announced by the Pink media company, and those who waived the assistance measures also include the Univerexport Group, while “AutoČačak” has announced that it has even employed new workforce.
At the government’s session held on April 10, three decrees representing the legal framework for the implementation of the Economic Measures Program aimed at curbing negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were adopted.
The Decree on fiscal benefits and direct borrowing to legal entities in the private sector and financial aid to citizens in the aim of mitigating economic consequences of COVID-19, the Decree on defining the program of financial assistance to legal entities for maintaining solvency and working capital under the adverse economic circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Decree on issuing debt securities during the state of emergency were adopted.