38% of the self-employed in Spain and 20% of SMEs do not see the continuity of their business clearly, according to a study carried out by the insurer DAS Seguros, a subsidiary of the German group Ergo specialized in legal defense.
The study reflects how the majority of small entrepreneurs perceive that the situation in their sector has worsened in recent years (61% of the self-employed and 49% of SMEs), and they fear that it will worsen in the coming years (37% of the self-employed and 29% of SMEs).
According to DAS, the study reflects "the enormous uncertainty with which this segment lives, which in Spain constitutes 99% of companies and represents 62% of GVA (gross value added), according to the Ministry of Industry."
Josep Ginesta, general secretary of Pimec, highlighted that “we are experiencing a very complex economic situation, with an unprecedented global impact. Now, that the economy was beginning to recover after the pandemic, we find ourselves with the increase in the costs of materials, transport, energy, ... and with the uncertainty of what will happen when the ICO credits and other financing formulas expire extraordinary that the EU put in”. In his opinion, however, "yes, there is concern, but there is also a great desire to resist and move forward."
The self-employed surveyed by DAS indicate as main reasons for concern the political, social and economic situation (25%), the decrease in activity and income (18%), the growing tax pressure (16%) and the increase in operating expenses (14%). SMEs also add uncertainty about the future (29%), concern about the global situation (23%) and the pandemic (13%) to these reasons.
But the study also reflects the resilience of entrepreneurs: 58% of the self-employed declare that "they are highly motivated" to carry out their project.
The DAS study shows that in all relevant aspects of the business, SMEs are more confident about the future. In the case of the self-employed, even 5% acknowledge that they will be forced to close and leave their activity.
“It is true that there is a direct relationship between the size of a company and its productivity and profits. The larger the size, the greater the business strength”, highlighted Ginesta. "That is why in other countries one of the objectives of public policies is to make their companies grow in size."
However, in his opinion, it should be an objective of the country to keep the largest number of companies and freelancers open. “It is not true that business concentration creates more employment. And it also increases supply and competition, which favors consumers.”
The DAS study highlights the limited protection of companies and SMEs against possible legal conflicts with their employees, or with their consumers due to civil liability, and the lack of economic capacity to assume the legal expenses to which they would be forced (which recognizes the 48 % of SMEs and 60% of the self-employed). In addition, 70% of SMEs and the self-employed are not aware that there is legal protection insurance and 75% of those who are aware of it know very little about how it works.