World Bank survey: Polish companies avoid mass layoffs during coronavirus crisis

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Only 4 percent of Polish smaller companies needed to fire employees due to the coronavirus crisis, according to the “COVID-19 Business Pulse Survey – Poland” by the World Bank and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

According to Łukasz Marć, an economist of the World Bank and the leader of the team responsible for the research, although the pandemic was a shock, Polish companies are not giving up and are actively looking for solutions which will help them survive the rough period.

PARP indicated that micro-, small- and medium-sized companies from the industry, trade and service sectors took part in the survey. The majority of questions concerned the period following the introduction of restrictions due to the pandemic and their gradual decrease in May until the virtual abolition of the restrictions in mid-June.

More than two-thirds of companies (69 percent) experienced decreases in sales in the last 30 days, compared to the same period in 2019. For 23 percent of companies, sales did not change and for less than 10 percent, sales increased.

PARP stated that despite the bad financial situation, Polish companies avoided layoffs and searched for other solutions. The most popular was to decrease the number of working hours (12 percent) and utilize paid vacations (12 percent). Only 7 percent had to cut salaries and only 4 percent resorted to layoffs.

In response to challenges associated with the pandemic, 32 percent of Polish companies began to use or increased their use of the internet, social media and apps for business.

According to PARP, 45 percent of companies increased their digitalization to improve sales, 38 percent to improve marketing and 28 percent to improve management. Another 20 percent adapted their product lines owing to digitalization and 18 percent of companies invested in new equipment or software to adjust to the new conditions.

The COVID-19 Business Pulse Survey is prepared by the World Bank and conducted in 30 countries in the world. The goal is to better understand the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and to gather information useful in preparing the right tools to support companies.

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