SMEs: with the odds stacked against them

Europe SMEs

Francisco Vidal | Covid, inflation and the new minimum wage hike are just additional problems for SMEs that suffer “a regulatory burden that suffocates them: a commercial establishment opening its doors in 2021 in any Spanish city would be affected by more than 3,000 regulations, from European to municipal”.

SMEs make up the heart of Spain’s productive fabric and, in fact, by the end of 2022 there were 2.9 million small and medium-sized enterprises employing 10,829,044 people. This reality does not prevent, on many occasions, the institutional environment from turning its back on their reality and becoming yet another obstacle to their activity.

The inflationary crisis has only emphasised the reality of a structurally complex context for Spanish SMEs. To a large extent, this is the result of an institutional environment – understood as the rules of the game – that does not comply with the “think small first” principle enshrined in the Small Business Act for Europe.

This principle implies that rules affecting businesses should be created from the point of view of SMEs, as they are considered to be the largest stakeholder group in terms of business regulation.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.