Only 1 in 4 businesses believe they will be able to pay April salaries

A survey carried out by the Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC) Over the past week, 475 firms revealed that while nearly 60% of companies paid March wages in full, that percentage dropped to 24.6% for April wages.

According to the poll, 36.2% of companies assured that they will not be able to face the payment of wages and 39.1% indicated that they will be partially paid. 24.6%, meanwhile, replied that they will be able to meet the obligation. In any case, this survey closed last Friday and over the weekend the Government finished deciding to increase state aid so that companies can meet salaries.

As of the decree that modifies 332, all the companies in crisis (420,000 were registered in the AFIP) will receive the benefit of the Complementary Salary, regardless of the number of workers. Until now, firms with up to 100 employees would receive this help and those with more than 100, the Repro. But now the benefit was unified and even expanded. The minimum contribution will be a minimum, vital and mobile salary ($ 16,875) and the maximum, double that figure. Therefore, more companies are likely to be able to meet their salary payments.

Companies of various sizes participated in the survey: up to 9 employees (65.9%); between 10 and 49 employees (24.6%); between 50 and 200 employees (6.5%); and companies with more than 200 employees (2.9%), who were consulted on different aspects of the situation.

On compliance with the rest of the obligations, such as Services pay and taxes, the survey also reflected that there are major complications in the commercial sector. In the first case, more than half of the firms have problems to pay (25.4% did not pay directly), Meanwhile he 42.4% of businesses could not pay their taxes.

Consulted on the state assistance in labor matters, 70.7% answered that they are not using any benefit; 22.5% claimed the reduction and extension of employer charges; 4% asked for the Repro and 2.2%, the compensatory allocation to the salary. Regarding 24% bank loans, only 21.7% answered that they had access to the line. Almost 38% said that they did not try to access, and the rest had difficulties for different reasons (due to credit rating, not being able to communicate with the entity or because they offered a higher interest).

What do you think will be the condition of your company to continue the current restrictions for the next 30 days? Was another question from the CAC survey. 56.9% answered that their firm “will suffer significant losses”; 33.7%, which must reduce its size; 13.4% that should close its doors, and only 14.1% of companies believe that it will be able to continue operating.

Regarding Internet sales, 53.6% answered that they do not, while only 15.6% said that they started with this modality based on quarantine restrictions. The rest (30.8%) had already been doing so before the isolation. What happened with those that did, is that in many areas shipments could not be made, which was made more flexible as of today, so it will take a few days to analyze how it works.

About sales, 92% of the almost 500 companies consulted replied that they fell since March 20, the date of the quarantine.. Lastly, the trade sector firms considered that the State should increase measures to support the private sector in order to face the effects of the pandemic.

Among other decisions, the respondents asked for greater tax reductions and to be able to defer the payment of taxes such as VAT and Gross Income; strengthen state assistance to pay for wages and employer contributions, particularly among the sectors most affected by the slowdown in operations and the impossibility of doing remote work (it was announced yesterday); and gradually allow the operation of new areas of activity, respecting strict safety and hygiene measures and social distancing.

In turn, they stated that delays in the payment to state supplier companies are revealed at its multiple levels, so “it is necessary to stimulate these disbursements”. On the other hand, the requests for greater credit facilities are repeated. In this case, the Government also announced in the last hours loans at 0% rate for the self-employed and monotributistas.