Global financial crisis bites small and micro businesses hardest
Nearly 8 out of 10 small and micro businesses have suffered from a decline in turnover and delays in customer payments in Athens as a result of the financial crisis, according to a survey released by the Athens Chamber of Small and Micro Businesses (BEA) last week.
The figures confirmed fears expressed by BEA’s members in late 2008 and showed that small and micro businesses were mostly affected by the economic crisis.
The survey was conducted on a sample of 480 business-members of BEA in July.
Eighty-four percent of BEA’s members reported a decline in turnover compared with 2008, while only 4 percent reported an increase in turnover.
Average turnover fell by 35 percent so far, compared with a decline of 33 percent a year earlier.
One of the most significant problems facing businesses in the sector was a delay in debt payments, with 56 percent of them saying payment time was more than three months, while 16 percent said payment time was more than six months.
Forty percent of businesses expected to end the year with losses, with only 2 percent saying they would end the year with higher profits.
One in four respondents said they have already cut workforce in the last six months, and another one in five said they could cut their workforce in the future.
Thirty-eight percent of small and micro businesses expect the economy to exit the crisis and recover by the end of 2010, while another 38 percent said they expected the first signs of recovery after 2011.
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