Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been dealt a disproportionately large blow by the market unrest generated by the introduction of capital controls and the 23-day bank holiday in the summer, according to a report by the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).
The smaller firms’ lack of overseas bank accounts, the fact that few used e-banking for transactions with customers and suppliers, and the particularly limited use of card terminals, as was the case before the capital controls were imposed on June 28, contributed to SMEs losing market share to bigger players, particularly the multinational retail chains.
If anything, the government’s decisions within 2015 were diametrically opposed to SYRIZA’s declarations in favor of supporting SMEs, which had recorded a decline in the previous six years too.
September found a great many small firms without any raw materials or stock, more so in the sectors of textiles and apparel, as their products are not granted priority status in imports approval. Therefore, despite the great drop in demand, the major Greek and multinational retailers managed to keep their sales and profits this year almost on a par with 2014, eating into SMEs’ market share.