The government's decision to extend more economic aid to businesses affected by the pandemic has been welcomed by the employers, entrepreneurs, and labor unions.
The government will continue to cover the salaries of struggling businesses in the amount of 4 thousand kuna per month and to co-finance shorter-work-week schemes to help small and micro-businesses.
These measures are extremely important for small businesses, which need assistance in order to survive, said Damir Zorić from the Croatian Employers Association.
"This covers transportation companies, restaurants and catering businesses, accommodation providers, and organizers of recreational and sports events. It applies to smaller firms - larger businesses are not as exposed - and those whose business is down by more than 60%,” he explained.
Entrepreneurs are underscoring that small and micro businesses also need affordable and accessible loans. Hrvoje Bujas from the Entrepreneurs Voice Association notes the government is planning to distribute 1 billion kuna in loans to small and micro businesses, but warns that the process needs to move forward quickly otherwise these businesses will fail.
“I hope these funds will be distributed as soon as possible and that implementation will not lag,” Bujas said.
The transportation sector has been among the hardest hit by the crisis. It has the largest number of workers who are in danger of losing their jobs. With this in mind, the measures have been welcomed by Mladen Novosel, the head of the country's largest union federation, the Association of Independent Trade Unions. However, he says that in order for these measures to be effective, the government needs to match them with other measures that protect Croatian manufacturers and producers.
“Parallel to these measures, we need to figure out how to help Croatian businesses, how to protect domestic production. If we don’t see these additional measures, I don’t think these funds will be spent effectively,” Novosel said.