NewsCompanies urgently need additional support measures to maintain or restart their activities

Companies urgently need additional support measures to maintain or restart their activities. Only less than a third of companies used government aid to reduce the impact of a coronavirus pandemic, a survey among members of the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic showed.

Companies affected by coronavirus would be helped by deferring social and health insurance payments, exempting VAT on unpaid invoices, and compensating for fixed costs. Such results were obtained by a survey conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce at the turn of April and May 2020.  

“Unfortunately, the current government measures to help companies affected by Covid19 are not sufficient and companies urgently need other forms of support. The results of the survey only confirmed the assumptions about the unsatisfactory situation, the feedback and information continuously obtained from our members showed this quite clearly,” says Marcela Černochová, managing director of the British Chamber of Commerce.

The coronavirus pandemic had a moderate or severe effect on the business of 60% of the participating companies, and the consequences for 25% of the companies are very serious or even fatal. Only 15% of companies stated that the coronavirus did not endanger their functioning.

31% of companies used the measures taken by the government. They made the most of the offers to extend the deadline for filing income tax returns (32%). Mode A (forced reduction of operations and quarantine), the amount of which is 80% of wage compensation, was used by 19% of companies. Mode B (related economic difficulties), the contribution of which is 60% of the wage compensation, was used by 15% of the participating companies. 7% of respondents subscribed to the possibility of postponing the payment of rents. Only 6% of participating companies used the COVID II program (assistance with operational financing and interest payments). For 4% of companies, the possibility of help from the COVID Prague program was interesting.

Companies would also welcome further offers of government assistance. They would appreciate the possibility of deferring social and health insurance payments (19%), VAT exemption for unpaid invoices (18%) or partial compensation for operating costs (17%). Companies see further provision of interest-free loans (12%) and continued compensation of wage costs (10%) as another possible help. 

About the survey

The survey took place from 29 April to 13 May 2020 and was attended by 57 companies. A quarter of the companies surveyed have a stake in the UK.