Traditionally, the economic life of Shostka was built around military enterprises – Powder (No. 9) and Capsule (No. 53) plants and the Film factory (Factory No. 6). After the evacuation of their basic equipment and raw materials in August 1941, these enterprises no longer operated. The restoration team of Plant No. 9 numbered several dozen people (exposition). Germans organized security in factories and removed the remains of metal structures. Operations of the sugar plant in the village of Voronezh was quickly restored, and other food and processing enterprises were to open soon, too (see intelligence report of the NKVD agent). Accordingly, people remaining in Shostka lived mostly off their own food supplies and their gardens and orchards.
The main task of the occupants was to provide Wehrmacht with food. Therefore, agriculture was given top priority. In the fall of 1941, collective farms, called “public sector” farms, were preserved. The occupation authorities tried to take away from peasants all the grain, livestock and property the latter had taken from the collective farms during the period of “powerlessness”. In addition to meeting the official quotes of harvesting a variety of agricultural produce, “public sector” farms also had to provide food for the local police, units of the 105th Hungarian Royal Division and other military units who came on visits. Peasants were also drawn into various duties: clearing the roads, logging, plus male peasants were forcibly recruited to the local police.