EC updates EU Industrial Strategy with additional SME support measures
This update, published on 5 May, neither replaces nor completes the 2020 EU Industrial Strategy.
Rather, it pays increased attention to regulatory burdens for SMEs. New announced actions aim to benefit SMEs and start-ups, whether it be from a strengthened Single Market, reduced supply dependencies or the accelerated green and digital transitions. The Strategy also includes some measures dedicated to SMEs such as on increased resilience, combating late payments, and supporting solvency.
EC recommends Member States to provide additional tax support for SMEs
The recommendation was issued together with the EC’s Business tax Communication on 18 May.
The EC recommends that Member States allow loss carry back for businesses to at least the previous fiscal year (2019). Member States may also extend that period to allow loss carry back up to the previous three years (2020 and 2021) against already taxed profits in the fiscal years 2019, 2018, and 2017. They should allow businesses to immediately claim the carry back of losses which they estimate to incur in fiscal year 2021, without the need for waiting until the end of the year. €3 million per loss making fiscal year should be the maximum amount for the loss carry back.
The recommendation is a soft-law instrument and does not oblige Member States to act.
EC expert group publishes final report on capital markets for SMEs
The stakeholder expert group, and its final report published on 25 May, provides EC with expert opinions and analysis regarding the functioning and success of SME growth markets. They also identify areas where further action or a different policy approach might be necessary for the success of SME Growth Markets in particular, and for improved SMEs access to public markets more generally.
The areas covered include listing requirements, SME research, SME indices and the attractiveness of public SME equity to institutional and retail investors.
EC disburses €14.1 billion under SURE to 12 Member States
This is the seventh installment of financial support under the SURE instrument, disbursed on 25 May. As part of today’s operations, Belgium has received €2 billion, Bulgaria €511 million, Cyprus €124 million, Greece €2.54 billion, Spain €3.37 billion, Italy €751 million, Lithuania €355 million, Latvia €113 million, Malta €177 million, Poland €1.56 billion, Portugal €2.41 billion and Estonia €230 million.
SURE loans will help Member States cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, including for the self-employed.
Accountancy Europe believes that it is crucial that SMEs can retain the skills of their workforce for their mid-term post-COVID resilience. SURE funding will enable Member States to support SMEs with this.
EC proposes CMU indicators for SMEs
The EC published a list of indicators on 9 June to help track capital markets’ developments and measure progress achieved by the EU’s capital markets union (CMU) project.
These indicators will help identify whether certain rules need to be adjusted to boost Europe’s capital markets or if new measures are required.
The indicators include several SME specific ones too, such as:
- Value of annual SME IPOs to nominal GDP
- Market breadth of SME shares
- Bid-ask spread on SME equity markets
- SME use of equity
- SME equity financing gap
- Share of SMEs with listed shares covered by analysts
All these SME indicators show progress since 2015, when EC’s CMU project kick-started.