In connection with the situation around COVID -19 and the changes in the economic situation on a national and global scale, the team of Sofia Tech Park is holding a series of online meetings with companies, part of the ecosystem of the Science and Technology Park. The initiative was part of the STP’s efforts to support innovative and technological companies that develop their projects on the territory of the park. Taking into account the unfavorable financial difficulties arising as a result of the pandemic situation faced by each of the small and medium enterprises and in order to maintain good relations with all its partners and participants from the startup environment, the company plans measures for financial relief and advising the members of the ecosystem in the park in order to maintain their levels and achieve a flexible and adaptable state to the situation.
During the talks, the financial difficulties of each company were discussed in detail, as well as the extent to which they are affected by the global pandemic. The proactive approach also aimed to inform companies that management is looking for solutions in these force majeure circumstances and is working together and in partnership with the business community in the park to develop a model that is appropriate and supportive of entrepreneurs.
The study among the companies showed that a relatively large percentage of companies in the park (over 80%) are affected by the COVID 19 pandemic situation, and not a small number of them said that they are in a difficult financial situation. More than half of the companies part of the Sofia Tech Park’ Incubator have taken measures to limit their costs, to optimize their work and to seek new opportunities to maintain their levels of development.
According to the analysis of the online meetings, the features of the general financial condition of the business were differentiated depending on the subject of their activity.
Companies in the manufacturing industry shared information about a reduced volume of orders or a totally frozen production base. The reason for this is suspended deliveries or delayed deliveries for a period longer than one month, which slows down their entire production process, the companies explained. Among IT companies there is a partial increase in the volume of work, as well as in terms of participation in various projects, namely in connection with the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. Most of the companies participating in the survey stated that they expect a drop in their revenues in the next 6 months.
Despite the logistical difficulties and the reduction of customers and the products or services they offer, companies still say they are trying to adapt to the situation and business climate by focusing on new segments, new products, development, business digitalization, taking action on changes in the sales strategy, as well as on their marketing strategies, which include a number of measures, including the application of discounts and other schemes to retain customers and attract new ones.
The team of Sofia Tech Park assured the business representatives that measures are being considered to respond to the problems of the companies, in accordance with the potential of the company and the commitments it has in terms of preserving the functionality of the ecosystem and the level of services provided. The implementation of these measures will follow the individual approach, which will ensure maximum adequacy to the general condition of the companies, as well as the degree of their impact caused by the pandemic situation.
More up-to-date information regarding the measures in support of the business community on the territory of Sofia Tech Park JSC can be found in our monthly newsletter, as well as on our Facebook page, where we will publish news from the ecosystem about opportunities and programs for applying for business support from various national and European funds and programs.