The anti-graft law that took effect in September last year is a success with big businesses, which save a lot of money on gifts, but small firms complain that it is making things harder for them.
In a poll by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry of 300 companies on Tuesday, 74.4 percent said the anti-graft law has made it easier for them to do business, but 23.9 percent complained things got worse.
Some 32.8 percent said the law improved fairness from public servants, who no longer favor certain firms over others now that permissible gifts have been capped at a nugatory value.
The same proportion were also glad that the law saves them from having to entertain clients with lavish boozy dinners.
Some 19 percent said the law helped cut spending, and 14.8 percent said staff are better able to focus on work that matters.
But among businesses that miss the old days, 27.5 percent complained that the law has increased the burden of internal checks and monitoring of business activities, while 25.9 percent said public servants have become more difficult to deal with now their palms can no longer be greased.
Some 23 percent simply did not like having to learn new ways, and 11.1 percent complained that the law cut opportunities for conviviality.
But a survey by the KCCI of 300 restaurant owners, small retailers and florists showed that 70 percent were against the law. Some 85.4 percent of florists and 79.8 percent of restaurant owners complained about lost business. Some 49.5 percent of retailers selling meat and other produce, which used to be staple gifts to authority figures, also said business was negatively affected.