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Retailers and wholesalers call for small companies to get a chance to build the European economy

19 October 2017
by EuroCommerce -- last modified 19 October 2017

SMEs make up the bulk of companies in Europe. Over 90% companies in retail and wholesale; are microbusinesses. The same applies to the hospitality industry.


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Speaking today at the General Assembly of HOTREC, the European association of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren set out his vision for future policy for SMEs in Europe:

"Small companies in all sectors face an uphill struggle to deal with the dual challenges of regulation and a fierce competitive environment. They lack the resources to deal with onerous regulations or the barriers to doing business across borders in Europe or outside. Yet they employ large numbers of Europe's citizens and represent the most promising area of growth in our economy. The EU therefore needs to design regulation to avoid standing in the way of the vibrant entrepreneurial initiative which SMEs can bring to the economy. And we urgently need to help small companies embrace digital transformation and gain access to the finance and skills needed to do so."

Verschueren also emphasised the need for the Single Market to work for small business – the burden of regulation and national rules making it difficult to do business across Europe falls particularly on small companies.  Strict enforcement of Single Market rules and action to help small companies expand should be priorities for the EU and national governments.

Verschueren added:

"Europe represents the biggest internal market in the world; with the right support, our small companies can, with the right support and the right policies to support them, address this market and bring about the growth in employment and the economy in general that all of us are looking for. Achieving this should be Europe's priority now, and I call on all governments and the EU institutions to takes the steps now to make it happen."

EuroCommerce is the voice for six million retail, wholesale, and other trading companies. Its members include national commerce federations in 31 countries, Europe's 27 leading retail and wholesale companies, and federations representing specific sectors of commerce.

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