EU’s regions, SMEs and trade associations call for next Commission to support SMEs
In a joint declaration, an alliance of European SMEs, trade unions, businesses and regions call on the next European Commission to have SMEs as a high priority on its agenda.
The declaration calls on the Commission to boost entrepreneurship and to allow SMEs to flourish notably through education policies, improvevd access to finance and digitalisation. Moreover, it highlights that SMEs need a facilitating environment ensuring the right level of skills development, financial support, capacity building, future-proof infrastructure and standardisation. SMEs also need an equal access to data, investments in cyber security and involvement in steering AI.
And finally, the declaration calls for new financial instruments and tools from the EU’s multiannual financial framework, as well as a timely implementation of EU legislation across all Member States whilst avoiding gold plating. Read more
OECD publishes report on latest trends in performance of SMEs
The OECD has published an overview of business conditions and policy frameworks for SMEs, in order to give policymakers valuable insights and examples to help them frame national SME policies.
As SMEs are dependent on the business ecosystem and the policy environment, trade barriers remain large and trade tensions may hamper SMEs’ ability to benefit from globalisation.
SMEs also struggle with access to strategic resources such as skills, finance and knowledge, the report maintains. Digitalisation is also a big challenge; the smaller the firm, the less likely they are to adopt digital-enhanced practices.
Finally, the report argues for more efficient governance and more coherent arrangements across national and subnational levels. Read more
European central bank reports on access to finance
The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a survey on the access to finance of companies in the euro area.
According to the survey results, from October 2018 to March 2019, the percentage of SMEs reporting higher turnover declined from 25% to 21%.
Moreover, availability of skilled labour remains the dominant concern (25%) for SMEs, followed by the difficulty of finding customers (23%). However, SMEs’ financing conditions are improving. SMEs attribute these positives changes to the willingness of banks to provide credit. Read more
Public consultation on financial regulatory reforms on SMEs
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) is conducting an evaluation of the G20 regulatory reforms on financial intermediation, to examine the effect of the post-crisis legislative changes on the financing of SMEs.
The analysis does not identify material and persistent negative effects on SME financing in general, apart from some different aspects depending on the national implementations. Access to external finance for SMEs appears to have improved, particularly in advanced economies.
The public consultation is open until 7 August 2019, and the FSB will publish the final report in November. Read more
World Economic Forum emphasises SMEs need the right tools to fight cybercrime
The World Economic Forum (WEF) underlines in its new report how dangerous cyberattacks can be for the survival of a firm. The report calls on SMEs to be prepared.
For this purpose, WEF highlights a new toolkit for small entities by the Global Cyber Alliance that aims to help them strengthen their cyber defences.
This toolkit provides advices on how to ensure that accounts are protected, to protect the company brand and how to implement policies and recommendations for training employees. Implemented in full, the suggested measures can have a significant impact on reducing cybercrime, WEF argues. Read more