Survey: Nearly 60 percent of firms have used state aid in COVID-19 crisis

The Unemployment Insurance Fund's scheme provides up to €1,000 gross per employee, to companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout. Source: ERR

Fifty-nine percent of companies answering a recent survey said they had required state support during the coronavirus pandemic, ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported Wednesday night.

The survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and conducted by pollsters Kantar Emor, found that the most used of the range of measures thus far has been the wage support scheme unveiled by the government in early April.

Forty-five percent of companies polled said they had either taken advantage of the scheme – which provides up to 70 percent of an employee's wage up to a maximum of €1,000 in a month and which has been extended into June – or planned to use it.

The wage support scheme funds are channeled via the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa).

Notwithstanding state support received, around three quarters of respondent companies said they predicted an average fall in turnover of almost 50 percent by the end of the second quarter (i.e. the end of June).

"The most important conclusion to draw is that there is still too little known about the virus situation in the market," said Viljar Lubi, ministry undersecretary.

"This was known before and the statistics show it. But the very high degree of lack of knowledge in the answers received was perhaps even greater than we had thought, and it also demonstrates that knowledge of the virus' spread is such that companies simply cannot make rational decisions," Lubi went on.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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