The Nightmare on Padlocks Street – 68K Small Businesses Closed Down in First 6 Months of 2012

Posted by in Economy

The voracious recession is swallowing one after the other small businesses and enterprises in Greece. Day in, day out. Estimated 68,000 commercial and small businesses have ceased their activity from early 2011 until April 2012. The storm of padlocks has taken epidemic dimensions and is not excepted to calmed down quickly. Dozens of stores close down a daily basis leaving hundreds of families without income. The grim reality of debt-ridden Greek trade is described in most recent surveys conducted among small business owners.
 
Κατέβασαν ρολά 68.000 επιχειρήσεις
 
In a recent survey among small business owners, daily TO ETHNOS  documented the dramatic situation in the Greek market, the unprecedented crisis that hit Greece in times of strict austerity, IMF “rescue” programs and huge state debt.
 
“The market has not reached yet the bottom of the crisis.”
 
From early 2011 until last April,  68,000 small businesses closed down being unable to meet their obligation,  while visible are fears that by the end of 2012, another 67,000 companies are at risk to put the padlock at their doors.
 
Unable to Pay Salaries & Meet Obligations
Small businesses at risk to close down are unable to meet basic obligations for salaries, materials, rents, taxes, insurance levies and utilities. They describe the situation as “irreversible”, painting the economic crisis in most dramatic colours.
All small businesses participating in the survey, consider the first half of 2012 as the worst periodsince the beginning of the economic crisis, three years ago. The outlook is even more bleak.An ICAP research came to more or less same findings, and showed that the increase of “bad debts” increases rapidly.
 
“One in Four companies are unable to meet their obligations towards business loans.
 
One in Two faces difficulties in paying employees’ salaries.
 
30% has unpaid rents.
 
Three in Ten have debts to utility companies (Electricity, Water, Telephone), can hardly meet their obligations to suppliers.”
 
 
One does not have to read surveys to see what’s going on the shopping streets in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos, Patras, Iraklio (Crete).
 
Athens: Two in five shops are closed on Stadiou street, one in three in noble Tsakalof street.
Piraeus: Two in five shops on Notara and Gounari streets.
 
27.3% of shops are closed in Piraeus. A percentage that increased by 10 units when compared to 2011.
 
Loss of Working PlacesWhen shops and other businesses close, the loss of workplace is inevitable. 260,000 work places are expected to be lost in the upcoming twelve months, found a survey conducted by MARC in cooperation with the Institute of Small Businesses of GSVEE. And that’s the more optimistic estimation.
 
11,000 employees’ work places are expected to be lost during the second half of 2011.
78,000 employees’ work places were lost during the first six months of 2012.
 
65.1% of the small businesses said they would  be willing to keep the number of their employees if there was some kind of subsidiary of the work costs.
 
190,000 businesses stated , they were at risk of closing down in the upcoming 12 months.
 
25.8% of  small businesses assume that they would close within the next year.
 
Six in Ten businesses consider reducing the number of employees in the next months.
 
53.4% have difficulties to pay employees’ salaries.
 
 
According to MARC survey, revenues decreased at 34.5%  during the first half of 2012.
 
Ethnos published this article on August 4th, 2012.
 
PS After translating this article and hearing the news about he upcoming horizontal cuts in pensions – including in low-pensions of 600 euro per month -, which will further burden the children of pensioners,  I think it’s high time I leave this country.
 
Anyone to offer me a job?