BRUSSELS – SMEs in trouble

Up to 30.8% of Belgium’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may not survive the COVID-19 crisis if the current far-reaching measures to combat the pandemic continue, according to estimations by Belgian bank Belfius.

Read also: Belgian start-up scene calls for ‘life support’ amid COVID-19 crisis

According to Belfius Research, one in three SMEs were already working in dire financial circumstances before the outbreak, with 20.3% of these companies already struggling with a lack of sufficient liquidity.

While in the medium term, 30.8% of these companies could disappear due to lack of capital, up to 14.6% of Belgian SMEs have both liquidity and solvency problems.

Belgius’ financial experts examined a sample of 19,000 Belgian companies, whose balance sheet amounts to a maximum of €43 million and at least 2 employees.

“In Belgium, no less than 99% of businesses subject to VAT are SMEs. They are therefore an essential part of our economy and they are now at the forefront of the economic contraction we are experiencing,” the study concludes.

(Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com)

 

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