SMEs rediscover their proper qualities

In the latest issue of the “Der NRW-Mittelstand” magazine Mario Ohoven, chairman of the Federal Association of SMEs (BVMW), deplores the fact that the traditional forecasts on economic development are merely based on the existing economic structures and do not take into account structural changes. One such structural change currently taking place is the fact that plants in the East of Europe not only offer labour-intensive products any more, but also engineering, distributional and marketing solutions.

According to Ohoven, small and medium-sized entities rediscover their own proper potential in order to be prepared for the future, instead of claiming subsidies from politics for each and every setting up, relocation or closing down of factories as is done by the managing directors of corporate groups. And this potential is real: SMEs are innovative, decentralized and flexible. Even corporate groups try to model the business structures of their subsidiaries on those of SMEs, given that decentralized units are able to decide quickly and independently.

SMEs shouldered the transition from the industrial society to a service economy and stood against global competition. And even though small and medium-sized entities employ 70 percent of all employees, they have to bear the major burden of taxes and social contributions which is not fair according to Ohoven. He has repeatedly urged the governing coalition not to further weaken SMEs by their tax policies. GERMAN