Slovenia: OZS chamber proposes more measures to combat pandemic

Slovenia: OZS chamber proposes more measures to combat pandemic

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 expected to be ready this week, aimed at aiding small businesses to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Some measures have been sent to the government already by October, yet the list was expanded after Slovenia declared a partial lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the ongoing second wave of the epidemic.

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

For small businesses that were forced to close or limit their services due to the lockdown, a drop as low as 20% in revenue should serve as criterium.

The government should also refund the entire pay for employees working fewer hours.

The sixth package should feature a provision under which businesses that have shut down operations are not required to return state aid under any circumstances.

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

The companies forced to enter into (partial) lockdown should be eligible for compensation for loss of income or all fixed costs, and have their rent costs covered by the state.

Some corrections to the liquidity loans guarantee scheme have also been proposed, alongside a minimum one-year delay of the 1 January 2012 rise in the minimum wage.

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

Only businesses which have paid all taxes and contributions by the deadline of applications for state aid are eligible for it.

Nonetheless, the OZS calls for some amendments, as 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 serve as the decisive date on whether a company is considered a regular payer.

The OZS would also like all taxes and contributions to be put on hold without interest having to be paid later, without excluding companies from eligibility for coronavirus state aid.

OZS president Branko Meh said during Wednesday’s press release that every measure should be taken, in order 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 stated. /ibna