The Slovenia Times

Small business recovery discussed at conference


Ljubljana - The eighth international small business conference, organised by the GZS's small business and trade chamber on Thursday, discussed the impact of the epidemic on small businesses and measures that could help them recover post-Covid.

Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek outlined the measures the government had drafted to address the ramifications of the coronavirus crisis in Slovenia.

"A bill to help tourism is in the making in which we propose extending some of the most effective measures as the epidemic gets extended," he announced.

He said Slovenia could count on EUR 12.2 billion in EU funds in the period between 2020 and 2009, or EUR 1.2 billion a year.

"We wish to help develop reform-oriented investment projects aiming to bring about a digital, green and more resilient economy," he said.

European Commission Representation deputy head Ulla Hudina Kmetič said "the crisis will be overcome only if micro, small and medium-sized firms are in the focus of recovery".

She highlighted the recovery and resilience plan and other facilities the EU had conceived to addressed the crisis "to transform challenges into opportunities to create foundations for a modern and sustainable Europe, for green and digital transition".

Brane Lotrič of the chamber of small business and trade, said the role of small business must not be sidelined or viewed as support for large companies.

"Representing 98% of the economy, small business is its long-term foundation," he said, adding that small business had been faced with the largest number of restrictions and bans during the epidemic.

"Government measures have enabled the majority to survive in terms of labour costs. Jobs are for now guaranteed, but we don't know what comes in the autumn," he said.

"One will have to strive for small businesses to want to grow. Companies must grow," Lotrič said, adding 2022 would bring another rise in the minimum wage.

He said the recovery and resilience plan would start being implemented this autumn but wondered where funds would be channelled and how small business would benefit from it.

The share of investment of small businesses in relation to their sales revenues considerably dropped in 2020, which Mojca Kunšek, the director of the AJPES agency for public records, said was worrying because "without that, there is no development".

As part of the conference, a memorandum with a list of proposed measures to help small business recover will be sent to the government.


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