Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has concluded a new study where business owners look back at a year in lockdown. 

62 percent of the 100 CEOs and top managers, who took part in a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, was dissatisfied with the Ukrainian Government handling of the Covid-19 outbreak last year. Only 18 percent were satisfied, according to the survey, accessing the business climate after the first year with Covid. 

Sixty percent of the respondents said that they also are dissatisfied with the lack of support from the Ukrainian Government for businesses during the lockdown. Only 11 percent of the CEOs and top managers said that they were happy with the support. 

“With 43% of members that are cautiously optimistic about doing business and potential investing in Ukraine in 2021, the top challenges remain the same. Business calls the Government to ensure the rule of law, protect the population from COVID-19, and fight corruption. AmCham Ukraine continues to stand up for business and stands ready to help the Government reignite the economy and defeat the pandemic,” said Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

When asked in the survey to mention three things that the Ukrainian government should do, the CEOs and top managers say implementing an effective judicial reform (74 percent), wide-scale testing for Covid-19 and good testing (46 percent), and to fight and stop corruption (37 percent). 

Many have lost revenue

It is not surprising that 2020 was a challenging year for all businesses in Ukraine. YouControl reported that 10,000 companies in Ukraine closed last year and that the level of new companies dropped by 20 percent, writes UBN. It is also visible in the American Chamber of Commerce survey in Ukraine that the lockdown was hard. 

37 percent reported a decrease in their revenues, while 40 percent, however, reported an increase in their incomes. 56 percent of respondents also retained their number of employees, 24 percent hired new personal, while 20 percent cut staff. 

The biggest challenges with the pandemic and the lockdown last year were “the introduction of the hybrid work environment (82%), digitalization of workflow (63%), development of new crisis management strategies (49%), and introduction of resilient models that can serve clients despite circumstances (47%),” according to the survey. 

A new lockdown is here

A new lockdown is currently in place in many Ukraine regions due to a spike in new Covid-cases, and it is unclear how companies will respond to that. However, Ukrainenu talked to the Danish companies Danfoss and Guldmann, and they feel ready. 

Danish companies: We are ready for this lockdown

“2020 was a year of challenges and rapid change that required significant effort and agility from the companies’ management to navigate… Going forward, it is extremely important to look at the areas we need to continue to develop to unlock the economic potential of Ukraine. In my view, we have the necessary skills and experience for this,” said Vice-Chair of AmCham Ukraine Board of Directors, Alexander McWhorter.

UBN writes that the Ukrainian Government intends to offer 8,000 UAH, about 285 dollars, in cash payments to small and medium-sized companies to help them get through the three-week strict quarantine currently in place. 

“The state is ready to pay the relevant individual entrepreneurs and employees of enterprises who have suffered as a result of the introduction of quarantine restrictions in the red zones, 8,000 UAH each. In particular, a set of measures has been developed to support people and businesses, which will be implemented in cooperation with local governments,” Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said.