The Estonian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (EVEA) said it finds it unacceptable that discussions on recovery measures are currently planned without small businesses, which play a key role in the economy and on which it depends how quickly the economy recovers from the crisis, reported LETA/BNS.
A number of current and former large business leaders, economists and experts are represented in the expert committee set up by the economic development committee and approved by the government, but there is a complete lack of specialists in the sectors consisting of micro and small businesses that have been hit the hardest, such as tourism, personal services, creative industries, small business and trade, meaning those mainly represented by EVEA, the association said.
When the prime minister made the idea of creating an expert body public at a Cabinet meeting on May 28, he emphasized, among other things, that the best available experience and knowledge in Estonia must be used to create a broad-based economic recovery plan. He also said that the committee must in the near future create a comprehensive picture of the economic innovation package on the basis of proposals from experts, ministries and institutions. EVEA cannot remain a bystander if the vast majority of the business sector, that is small businesses, is not involved in such an important discussion, the association said.
“Therefore, EVEA is turning to Prime Minister Juri Ratas with the proposal to supplement the composition of the expert panel established by the economic development committee and to invite a representative of EVEA behind the table to fill the gap and create the necessary full picture,” EVEA president Heiki Rits said.
EVEA said it understands that it was not the representatives of the organizations that were invited to the panel of experts, but individuals who are considered to be experts in their field. Unfortunately, the leaders of several organizations, mainly representing large companies, were invited there, whose personal views cannot differ significantly from those of the organizations they manage.
According to the association, EVEA also has experts who are authoritative in the field of economic and enterprise policy and dignified to sit together with other experts. EVEA also has ideas and thoughts on how to revive the economy. “In addition, we consider it very important that the recommendations made by the panel to the government take full account of the needs of micro and small enterprises, which account for approximately 99 percent of all operating enterprises and whose needs often differ significantly from those of large and even medium-sized enterprises,” Rits said.
“The post-crisis economic recovery begins with small business. Given the lack of small business advocates in the current composition of the panel, while there is a large number of major business members, EVEA has legitimate concerns that the crisis support problems identified during the first phase of the coronavirus crisis, which particularly affected small businesses, will not be addressed,” Rits said.