Every 12th of May, the European Day of SMEs is celebrated in our continent. Small and medium businesses are more than a 99% of the Spanish business world and it is estimated that these companies have create around 85 out of every 100 new jobs in Europe.
SMEs are companies with less than 50 employees, and they are not part of the industrial market. They don’t own a huge capital and their annual business volume is limited by the law. Among other characteristics, SMEs have a special importance since they offer a level of specialization which big corporations, generally, cannot reach. Besides, they promote job creation two times more than big businesses (around a 66% of employment in Spain comes from SMEs).
The crisis due to the pandemic, a threat for SMEs
Of course, the crisis produced by coronavirus has strongly affected many SMEs. Summed to ERTEs, there is a risk for the survival of companies in practically any sector. Some of those sectors, such as the catering or tourism industries, are suffering the worst consequences. The vast income reduction that a big part of SMEs have experienced since last year, after the restrictions to avoid the viral propagation, has made life hard for them in our country (and in the rest of Europe).
The European Union funds set to ease the economic difficulties this situation has provoked, are key for SMEs. Spain wants to destine around 5 billion euros for the digitalization, internationalization and support to small and medium enterprises. Specifically, 4.894 out 0f 4.918 billion destined to those and other support actions for SMEs in our country will be paid with European funds.
The European Union, key in SMEs recovery
Not only the pandemic has wrecked havoc in European SMEs. There are also other structural problems in the access to funding of SMEs when compared with big companies. This limits the capacity of many of them to grow, innovate or expand their business abroad.
For that matter, it’s Brussels again who proposes a good solution to improve the situation of small and medium companies. The European Commission has recently announced that it will destine 50 million euros for the concession of credits to SMEs in Spain and Portugal. They will do so using ‘Alternative Leasing’, a different funding way managed by Banco Santander.
A day for celebration and hope
This year, the European Day of SMEs has been really special. After a tough year, seeing how the EU protects these companies offering them a crucial help is a reason for celebration. The funds will be essential for our small and medium enterprises, and they are essential for the European economy. It’s just a matter of time to see whether this help is enough or the EU will have to keep on trying.
Fortunately, New Tandem hasn’t been very affected by the difficult reality the whole world is facing. We know and lament how other SMEs haven’t been that lucky. That’s why we want to send a message: we need to take care of small and medium businesses. And by now, we can also hope that the opportunity for generating a more sustainable scenario for these companies is now possible.