ECONOMY

SMEs folding at a rate of 1,000 per week

As many as 12,000 enterprises are expected to close within the first quarter of the year as there is a high number of both trading and manufacturing firms that after the end of the winter sales, on February 29, will shut up shop having sold off as much merchandise as possible.

The General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) estimates that a total of 61,200 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will shut down in 2012, according to the findings of its Small Enterprises Institute.

The jobs to be lost this year in the sector are estimated at a staggering 240,000, after 150,000 jobs were lost in SMEs last year.

Furthermore, in the last six months more than half of employers (53.3 percent) did not pay their employees on time.