One in five small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Greece is facing the threat of closure this year, despite improving macroeconomic indices, the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVEE) warned.
According to a GSEVEE report, for the first half of 2014, even though Greece is getting closer to exiting the recession after six painful years, SMEs — which make up 99.6% of Greek enterprises — are struggling with major challenges.
The survey, which was conducted in July among 1,051 SMEs nationwide, employing up to 49 employees, showed that approximately 15,000 of them are facing the risk of closure.
If that estimate proves correct, some 42,000 jobs will be lost and the number of businesses folding during the debt crisis will rise to 245,000 SMEs, GSEVEE president George Kavathas said.
The grim outlook is linked to reduced turnover in combination with increased financial obligations.
On average, SMEs reported a 20% decline in turnover in 2014, compared to the previous year. Since the start of the crisis, turnover tumbled 75%, according to the report.
The largest part of business debts is owed to insurance funds (41.7%), the tax office (31.8%) and banks (26.5%).
Growth expectations for the second half of 2014 are in decline with 56.1% of respondents forecasting a gloomy picture.
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!