Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) paid a disproportionately high price compared to other businesses in Greece during the crisis. The shutdowns in this category, often referred to as the “backbone of the Greek economy,” have come at a much higher rate than in the rest of the economy.
According to the first report on SMEs presented on Wednesday by the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) and drafted by its Institute for Small Enterprises (IME GSEVEE), while the total number of enterprises in Greece was down 9.4 percent in 2016 from 2008 (855,436 against 942,671), the rate of closures among SMEs was much steeper.
The GSEVEE survey indicated that in 2016 there were 182,694 fewer small and medium-sized enterprises left, which constituted a reduction of 28.36 percent in just eight years, or three times the contraction seen in the entire economy. The greatest losses were among very small enterprises – i.e. those employing up to four people – which saw their share among all businesses shrink from 93.96 percent in 2008 to 89.51 percent in 2016.