The SKOKi exemplify what Poland needs more of -- indigenous Polish-owned financial institutions
Well, the critical thing is that the SKOKi need to be under the same rules as other financial institutions. If this is achieved, then they can play an important part. The one thing that would be healthy would be limiting their territorial reach - it would make sense for each institution to only serve an individual province so that they stay focused on the customer and not on the ambitions of the management.
The other problem is that the situation within the SKOKi isn't great. The NBP wrote a report a few months ago saying that reform and repair of the sector needs to take place, but the problem is that the bigger SKOKi aren't institutionally able to take over smaller ones. In this case, it might well make sense to consolidate them and create a single SKOK chain for the country and allow it to operate more or less as a bank.
retail chains and manufacturers of Polish-designed and branded products.
There are plenty of Polish retail chains - for instance...
All of these are Polish, and you'll find them in most malls in Poland and also in places such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
There are plenty of other examples in other fields too. But I agree - PiS could do very, very well by providing significant assistance to small and medium sized businesses. For instance, I know one company director (they produce fantastic IT products in a very specific field) that wishes that he could expand to Germany, but such a move would require considerable capital investment - they've already got a huge presence in the CEE countries, but to take on the German market would need in the region of 5 million złoty to put everything in place - and they simply don't have that kind of money in cash. Supporting these kind of businesses is definitely the way forward.
The other thing about the SKOKi - you will be well aware of the issues surrounding their governance. There are some major questions about their behaviour, including the way that over 150 million złoty ended up in Luxembourg.
There's a very good article here about it. It essentially describes the situation with their corporate governance, and it shows why they need to be operated in a transparent manner like the commercial banks. I would go so far as saying that they should be prohibited from foreign investments - the money should stay in Poland and only be used for Polish investments.