ECONOMY

Threat of closure still very real for SMEs

The rate of deterioration seen in the economic indices for small and medium-sized enterprises eased marginally in the last six months of 12012, according to a survey conducted by the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) and presented on Tuesday.

Some 170,000 enterprises expect to face the prospect of closing down in the next 12 months, of which 64,000 are in the commerce sector, while GSEVEE forecasts that some 55,000 will shut down eventually, including 20,000 commercial businesses. If that proves true, an estimated 195,000 employers, self-employed people and salary workers will lose their jobs.

Thomas Gerakis, of research company Marc, which conducted the survey, said the recession is showing signs of stabilization instead of further deterioration but there is no sign of a recovery as yet.

He added that the policies that the government is adopting will likely lead to an increase in the illegal labor market and underemployment.