We hereby present the results of the annual survey of BIA, which is conducted for the 16th consecutive year. This year, a total of 788 companies from all over the country and from all sectors of the economy took part in the study.
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How things changed in 2020 compared to 2019...
71 % of the participants in the survey declared that their company’s condition in 2020 deteriorated compared to the previous year, and 91% of the respondents accounted for a worsened business climate accounted. For comparison, last year the percentages were – 25% and 43%.
What trends do you expect in 2021 in connection to...
BIA’s study shows a high degree of pessimism among Bulgarian businesses. 68% of the respondents expect a decline in the economy and jobs next year, accompanied by growth in commodity prices (66 %), energy prices (77 %), the costs of business loans (53 %), regulatory burden (51 %) and fiscal burden (58 %).
How do you rate...?
The anti-crisis measures in support of the business receive a general disapproval of 68 % and the anti-epidemic measures – 58 %. The respondents are divided in their assessment of the introduction of the differentiated VAT – 51 % approve this measure, 38 % are against it, and 11 % are still hesitant. The refusal of the obligatory introduction and adoption of SUPTO (sales management software) received a highly positive assessment – 72 % of the respondents supported this decision.
What actions have you taken on COVID-19?
In connection with the corona crisis, 56 % of respondents gave up planned investments, 45 % proceeded to staff cuts, 39 % introduced partial or full distance work, 38 % made investments to comply with anti-epidemic regulations, 35 % put part or all of their staff on unpaid leave for a certain period of time, 21 % developed online sales, and 18 % transformed and adapted their production to the markets.
What were the obstacles you faced when/if you decided to take advantage of the introduced support measures?
A small part of the business has benefited from the widely proclaimed anti-crisis measures, with the greatest interest being taken into account with regard to the moratorium on credit payments (18 % benefiting from this possibility), the measure '60/40 (29 %) and the aid free of charge to micro and small enterprises known as '3/10 thousand' (27 %). No more than 1-2 percent of the respondents are interested in the support measures by the Bulgarian Development Bank.
In general, half of the participants in the survey declared that they did not use any of the anti-crisis measures that were suggested by the government and those who benefited by them complained about a very slow process (41 %), heavy bureaucracy (35 %) and even corruption (5 %). Only 12 % of those using the measures declare that they have not encountered obstacles.
What kind of state support is appropriate for your business in overcoming the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic?
The main problem of the Bulgarian business is the lack of liquidity. For this reason, the main expectations for support by the State are aimed at overtaking part of the costs, including remuneration, taxes and fees, as for low interest loans.
I suffer from a skilled labour shoratge for:...
The staff shortage is still a problem for the Bulgarian business, although it significantly reduces the demand for personnel in times of crises. The shortage of profiled specialists remains – every second employer experience difficulties finding them.