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Inside the Ukrainian businesses refugees have opened in Poland

Charnomorka is a Ukrainian restaurant specialising in seafood in Poland.
Charnomorka is a Ukrainian restaurant specialising in seafood in Poland. Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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The number of Ukrainian companies in the Polish market has increased to 25,000, an increase caused by the influx of refugees from Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.

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Poland has quickly enabled incoming Ukrainians to start business activities, allowing them to operate on the Polish market on the same terms as Poles.

"They benefit from financial relief as they start [the business], [and] preferential rates of the Social Insurance Institution for the first two years," Tetiana Gomon from the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce told Euronews. 

Despite the ongoing hardships of fleeing for their home country, Ukrainians are still being innovative so they can make the most of business ventures abroad. 

Charnomorka is a restaurant specialising in Ukrainian seafood that opened in December last year.

"A long time ago, before the war, we were already starting to think and plan how to start entering the European market, but the war simply pushed us to do it faster," Ukrainian Karina Synevych from Charnomorka said. 

"Well, we couldn't bring the Black Sea to Poland. We can't fish because it's mined and they don't allow it."

The restaurant is also employing other Ukrainians, such as accountant Irina, who came to Poland without speaking the language. 

"I am very happy that I found a company opened by our Ukrainian businessmen because I can work according to my education," she said. 

Experts told Euronews the Polish initiative had many benefits, including taxes paid towards the state budget. It also increases competition in the Polish market, but some perceptions are slowly changing. 

"This perception of a Ukrainian employee in Poland and Ukrainian companies is changing," Dr Justyna Bokajło from the Department of International Economic Relations and European Integration said. 

"Positive attitudes are declining - part of the Polish society expresses fears in limiting access to health care or social benefits.

"I think that the industries that are popular among Ukrainian entrepreneurs are in a partnership with Polish entrepreneurs and complement well the gaps in the Polish labour market."

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