TALLINN – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Baltic countries continue to support Ukraine as the invasion continues, and their support has not decreased since the start of the invasion, it appears from a survey commissioned by Luminor.
Baltic SMEs have continued to donate, provide services to refugees and create jobs for them, a Luminor spokesperson said on Wednesday.
In the poll taken at the end of the third quarter of 2022, 32 percent of the Baltic SMEs interviewed answered that they had donated money or food to charitable and non-governmental organizations. This is almost two percentage points more than in the second quarter of this year. Thirty percent of SMEs in Estonia and Latvia and 35 percent in Lithuanian had donated to charity for Ukraine.
"The level of support has remained essentially the same, which shows that people have not become indifferent to what is happening in Ukraine. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most vulnerable part of the business community and it is very encouraging to see that, eight months after the invasion began, they are still finding ways to contribute to helping Ukraine," Marjan Savtsenko, head of corporate banking at Luminor, said.
Thirty-eight percent of the Baltic SMEs that answered the questionnaire do not see a negative impact of the war in Ukraine on their operations, while 35 percent perceive it. The feeling of negative influence has increased slightly from 32 percent in the second quarter. Estonian entrepreneurs feel the least affected by the situation in Ukraine, with as much as 44 percent of Estonian SMEs and only 29 percent of such companies in Lithuania stating that the situation in Ukraine has not affected them negatively.
There has been a slight decrease in the offering of services and jobs by companies to those who have left Ukraine, which may be attributed to a certain reduction in the flow of war refugees. Thirteen percent of SMEs provide services to war refugees, and nearly 13 percent offered jobs to refugees. In the second quarter, the corresponding ratios were 14 percent and 17 percent.
Almost 12 percent of companies give their employees a day off to do volunteer work for Ukraine. In the previous quarter, the ratio of such entrepreneurs was smaller by one percentage point.
The survey was carried out at the end of September by the research company Norstat at the request of Luminor by surveying 780 managers of SMEs in the three Baltic states.