CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. SMEs Should Not Bear Burden Of Economic Crisis, UEAPME Warns

SMEs Should Not Bear Burden Of Economic Crisis, UEAPME Warns

by Robert Lee,, London

19 December 2008

"Policymakers at all levels must ensure that the real economy does not end up paying the price of the current financial crisis" was the message conveyed at the General Assembly of the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME), according to Malta's Association of General Retailers and Traders.

More than 70 delegates from 21 countries, representing more than 12 million Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, gathered recently to discuss on how best to react to the spillover effects of the financial crisis on their businesses.

Access to finance remains a key concern, participants agreed, stressing that the money recently injected into the economy must now reach small enterprises instead of being used to re-adjust banks' frail accounts.

Public spending will also play a crucial role, as long as it promotes durable investments and not short-term consumption, it was argued. The Small Business Act must now be implemented, warned participants, who also called on policymakers to further limit red tape and to reassess the impact of past, pending and future legislation on SMEs.

"Participants from all over Europe stressed the need to shelter SMEs from the unprecedented crisis that we are witnessing. Their voice is the voice of Europe's economic backbone, a voice that cannot be neglected by policymakers," stressed President Georg Toifl.

"The French Presidency of the EU and the European Commission have already shown their willingness to collaborate with SME representatives. This is a promising sign, but much remains to be done to tackle a crisis that looks to be here to stay for a while," he added.

UEAPME welcomed the European Economic Recovery Plan released by the European Commission last month. According to UEAPME, the EC communication is a strong signal of its willingness to take decisive action against the deepening economic crisis. A rejection of this plan by member states would darken Europe’s already bleak economic outlook, warned UEAPME.

Commenting on the text, the SME organisation particularly appreciated the EC proposals for additional measures to secure access to finance for SMEs, to speed up the reduction of VAT rates for labour intensive services and to cut labour taxes at the low end of the wage scale. However, UEAPME was less satisfied with the chapter on employment support, which does not mention the consequences of downsizing in large enterprises for smaller service providers, suppliers and subcontractors. It also expressed worries on the links between the plan and the Small Business Act, which is mentioned only in passing in the text.

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »