The level of perception of the availability of money from EU funds is much more significant than their actual amount in the economy, according to the Citadele Index survey. Survey results show that half, or 50%, of Latvian business owners have admitted that the availability of money from EU funds is important to their business.
As demonstrated by the Citadele Index, manufacturing and construction businesses valued the availability of money from EU funds as most important. 30% of manufacturing, 24% of construction and 21% of service industry businesses have indicated that it is very important that they have access to money from EU funds.
Even 18% of retail businesses, which receive no direct support from EU finds, viewed the availability of EU funds to be very significant.
Citadele Bank economist Mārtiņš Āboliņš: “It is somewhat surprising that EU funds are significant to such a large proportion of businesses, because in total in Latvia these funds form only around 3-4% of GDP; this is not insignificant, but cannot also be said to make up a very large proportion. EU funds have much larger significance in the construction business, which comprise up to 30% of the total demand. However, as we see in the Citadele Index results, business owners themselves value EU funds as being more important in the manufacturing industry, with construction in second place. It must be said that, in this study, the manufacturing industry includes agriculture, to whom the availability of EU funds is extremely important. The retail industry’s answers on the significance of EU funds is interesting, because they do not receive direct support from funds. This leads us to believe that the idea of EU funds has much larger significance than their actual amount in the economy. Clearly, the perception and feeling that money from these funds is available, even if their proportion in the economy is not large, is important to business owners.”
The availability of money from EU funds is more significant for large businesses. 70% of employers with more than 250 employees, 60% with between 10 and 49 employees, 59% with 50 to 249 employees, and 48% with fewer than 10 employees see money from EU funds as important to their business.
A third, or 27%, of business owners stated that the availability of money from EU funds is not at all significant to their business, and this was most often admitted by those working in the Greater Riga area.
The availability of money from EU funds was more often recognised as significant by businesses operating outside of Riga than by businesses working within Riga. 48% of Riga businesses and 53% outside of Riga stated that the availability of money from EU funds is important to their business.
About Citadele Index
The Citadele Index survey was performed in collaboration with market and public opinion research centre SKDS in the spring of 2018, surveying 750 business leaders working in Latvia.