When the economic crisis hit Croatia a few years back, owners of HSTec – a metal fabrication exports company in the country’s northern Dalmatian region – did everything they could not to lose their highly-skilled employees.
But after paying salaries, there was nothing left to invest with, and most commercial credits were too pricy to accept, until chief operations officer and part owner Mladen Sarlija heard of competitive financing through a loan project for export companies run by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development:
“We used it for our long-term capital and cash flow to get out and start new growth after the crisis. That is what the credit was for,” Sarlija says.
The favorable loan, he says, helped the factory better weather the crisis and hold on to its nearly 60 employees, who design and produce specialized metal parts and machines ranging from robots to motorized spindles. Company sales are finally recovering, and there are even thoughts of expanding, Sarlija says.