OZS updates list of measures it wants in next stimulus package

Ljubljana – The OZS chamber of small business has compiled a list of measures it believes the government should adopt as part of the sixth stimulus package, which is to be ready this week, to help small businesses cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Some measures were sent to the government already in October, but the list has been expanded after Slovenia has gone into partial lockdown as part of the ongoing second wave of the epidemic.

The OZS proposes that businesses should be refunded the entire compensation for furloughed workers – that is the entire 80% of their pay.

For small businesses which had to close or limit their work due to the lockdown, a drop as low as 20% in revenue should serve as a criteria.

The government should also refund the entire pay for workers working shorter time.

The sixth package should feature a provision under which businesses in lockdown do not have to return state aid under any circumstances.

Instead, the state aid that should be returned should go for R&D or for remuneration of employees.

The companies forced to go into (partial) lockdown should get a compensation for loss of income or all fixed costs and rent paid by the state.

Some corrections to the liquidity loans guarantee scheme have also been proposed and so was at least a one-year delay of the 1 January 2012 rise in the minimum wage.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) meanwhile proposes a two-year delay, which the Economy Ministry supports.

Only businesses which have paid all taxes and contributions by the day when they apply for state aid are eligible for it.

But the OZS would like to change that because an increasing number of small firms and sole proprietors cannot pay them in time as a result of the spring lockdown.

March 13 2020 – the day after the epidemic was formally declared – should thus be the date to judge whether a company is a regular payer.

The OZS would also like all taxes and contributions to be put on hold without interest having to be paid later, while this should not exclude the companies from eligibility for coronavirus state aid.

OZS president Branko Meh said in Wednesday’s press release that everything should be done for companies not to close and for jobs not to be lost.

“The shape of the economy will determine our future. And I believe we all want a bright future with jobs and a normal life,” he was quoted as saying.