SMEs shrink in num­ber

Kathimerini English - - Focus - DIMITRA MANIFAVA

The num­ber of small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises in Greece dropped by 145,000 be­tween 2008 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. In those seven years Greek SMEs lost 35 per­cent of their added value and 22 per­cent of the jobs they pro­vided.

All this serves to ex­plain the dire sit­u­a­tion the Greek econ­omy finds it­self in: If SMEs are the back­bone of the coun­try’s econ­omy, then it will have a ma­jor prob­lem in get­ting back on its feet again.

The data is­sued by the Com­mis­sion showed that SMEs in Greece num­bered 704,339 last year, of which 682,132 were very small, 19,631 small and 2,576 medi­um­sized. Large en­ter­prises num­bered just 397 (i.e. only 0.1 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of Greek en­ter­prises), though their con­tri­bu­tion to em­ploy­ment amounted to 12.7 per­cent and in cor­po­rate added value 24.9 per­cent.

In com­par­i­son with 2014, there has been a small in­crease in very small en­ter­prises – mainly thanks to self-em­ployed pro­fes­sion­als who chose this route af­ter los­ing their salar­ied jobs – and medium-sized busi­nesses.

The Com­mis­sion’s es­ti­mates for 2016-17 are quite re­served, with its re­port say­ing there are lim­ited in­di­ca­tions about a short-term re­cov­ery of the coun­try’s SMEs, while the em­ploy­ment and added value of the sec­tor is not ex­pected to show any sig­nif­i­cant changes next year.

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