According to information gathered from nearly 1,000 SMEs throughout the country by the General Council of Economists (CGE) and the Faedpyme Foundation, with the collaboration of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, only 15.4% of Spanish SMEs believe they will create jobs this year. Meanwhile 74.9% believe they will maintain them and 9.6% that they will reduce them.
For the president of the CGE, Valentín Pich, although the report reflects “a certain improvement” in the employment expectations of SMEs for this year, “it is quite discouraging” if one takes into account the fall experienced last year, when more than 600,000 jobs were destroyed.
With regard to sales, 52.6% of the companies surveyed said they reduced their sales last year, 26.1% managed to maintain them and 21.3% increased them.
In terms of expectations for this year, 25% of the companies believe that they will increase their sales in the first half of the year, while 37% believe they will do so in the second half.
Bearing these figures in mind, Valentín Pich holds the view that it is “necessary” for companies in temporary redundancy programmes to “continue to receive additional support” for a period of time in the form of direct aid and by reducing taxes and duties.
The study also shows that the companies with the most favourable expectations for this year are medium-sized firms, those that have not been subject to a layoff scheme, temporary or not, mature companies -more than 10 years old- and companies in the construction and commerce sectors.
Meanwhile, the report reveals that access to financing has not been a serious problem for SMEs during the pandemic generated by Covid-19. Spanish SMEs, in general, have been able to adapt to market changes “quickly” to “satisfy their customers”.