USAID Cooperation for Growth Project

„Specifically, for SME” – Banks and small businesses, new strategic partnership?

The third online within the series „Specifically, for SME” was held on Wednesday, April 22, and under the name ‘’Banks and small businesses, new strategic partnership?’’ it was dedicated to the finances of small businesses during the crisis caused by COVID 19.

Kosta Andric (ICT Hub) and Ivan Milosavljevic, Access to finance expert in The USAID Cooperation for Growth Project moderated the panel, while the participants were Veljko Milićević (DMV Rawfood), Predrag Tošić (Head of Small Business Department at OTP Bank) and Aleksandar Vasilski (financial consultant in ‘’Valor Group’’).

Participants shared their insights, experiences, and specific recommendations regarding the Government's measures to help businesses during the crisis. State aid measures were assessed as quick, useful, and valuable.

It was also discussed about the role of banks in the crisis while the key business challenges and financial recovery of small businesses during and after the crisis were also addressed.

Participants estimated that banks' risk assessment criteria are unlikely to change dramatically, given that banks will not take into account operations in the crisis months but from the end of last year. Decision-makers in SME enterprises were advised to contact their bankers as soon as possible, to get help not just in terms of financing but also to receive support in changing business models and switch to online business – to open eCommerce and enabling card payment options.

It was concluded that "things will not return to normal", which is, in fact, a situation that provides opportunities for learning, adaptation, and improvement. Many successful examples have been proving this conclusion such as accelerated digitalization of many businesses, the rapid adaptation to teleworking tools, and online conferencing.

By clicking on the following link  you can listen to the panel and find out what would be the future of small businesses in the post-crisis period, what would be the long-term effects of the state aid measures and how does platform can help SMEs to improve their cooperation with banks.

In cooperation with ICT Hub, The USAID Cooperation for Growth Project launched series of online panels named „Specifically, for SME”, devoted to small and medium enterprises and aimed to help small businesses to cope with business challenges in the state of emergency due to coronavirus pandemic.

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