Coronavirus assistance did not go to the hardest hit sector of business

Support for businesses in the coronavirus-induced crisis unevenly distributed, analysis shows.

Illustratory stock photo. Illustratory stock photo. (Source: Courtesy of BTB)

The most supported sector of the Slovak economy in the current coronavirus crisis is automotive and its suppliers while the hardest hit sector, tourism, has received only a scrap from the state's first aid package.

The consulting firm Grant Thornton Slovakia ascribes this discrepancy to unnecessary bureaucracy and at the same time possible allegations of subsidy fraud in the event of errors in applications.

“We have met several companies that, due to the complexity of the whole application process and the risk of being accused of subsidy fraud due to incorrect information, have decided not to apply for a contribution,” said Filip Tichý, International Liaison Director at Grant Thornton.

The amount of the contribution also certainly played a role. It is clearly insufficient for some sectors.

“The fact that companies from the most affected sectors not only need a contribution to pay wages and rent to survive, but mainly need help to restart their businesses, needs to be taken into account.”

Related articleHow the state helps people and businesses during the coronacrisis Read more 

Grant Thornton looked closely at applications for state anti-corona contributions to help companies keep on their employees and survive the corona crisis that exceeded €50,000 between March and May, i.e. a total of 656 applications. Of these, 246 applications or 37.5 percent came from the automotive industry. This sector placed second in terms of the year-on-year drop in April sales, down 77.5 percent.

On the other hand tourism, with its 84.7-percent drop in sales making it the sector most affected by the corona pandemic in Slovakia, accounted for only 2.1 percent of successful applications. The situation of tourism, an industry employing more than 300,000 people, did not improve in May when sales decreased by 81.6 percent y/y.

The second most successful sector in applying for the state aid was retail (more than 10 percent) followed by transport and metallurgy (both more than 6 percent) and production of electronic appliances (about 4 percent).

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