The financial constraints faced by companies can be divided into microeconomic ones and those deriving from the broader business environment. Microeconomic or normal constraints arise from the increase of risk and/or a drop in demand, from changes in interest rates or problems in the sector in which a company operates. Restrictions of the environment or additional restrictions can stem from the credit crunch — the inability of banks to offer loans, or from balance sheet or institutional constraints.
The identification of additional financial constraints was based on the data from the quarterly surveys of companies, combined with the data from the annual financial statements. Logit and probit panel regression analysis was applied on a sample of 280 Croatian companies in the processing industry, construction and services. The analysis covers the period of the crisis, from the third quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2014.
At the beginning of the crisis in late 2008, at a later stage, in 2013, and at the beginning of 2014, no additional financial constraints were noted. The crisis shock of 2009 hit the large enterprises a quarter earlier than the small ones (in the second quarter of 2009) and caused stronger additional financial constraints than those seen by the small businesses. For the large companies the shock was quickly over and no additional financial constraints for them were identified from 2010 onwards. In addition, on the average, large companies with notable exports face significantly smaller overall financial constraints. Despite hitting a quarter later, additional financial constraint for small businesses occurred sporadically in 2010, 2011 and 2012.