On 12 September 2023, the European Commission released its SME Relief Package. This proposal had originally been proposed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union speech. This package has long been awaited by the business community.
The need to reduce administrative burden, increase access to skilled labour, ensure the successful transfer of businesses are all crucial aspects of the SME Relief Package and are all necessities for the competitiveness of EU businesses. The proposal for a Late Payment Directive, also included in the package, will help to ensure the survival of companies especially in what are economically challenging times.
We are pleased that when the package was published, it delivered on support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Small Mid-Caps operating within the EU and expressed a variety of actions to help businesses and make the EU single market more competitive.
A successful transfer of businesses is crucial for family businesses. It is encouraging to see that the Commission notes that their Recommendation of 1994 on business transfers remains valid. The sharing of best practices in this area is paramount for the EU’s family businesses’ competitiveness who operate with the long term view.
We are pleased that Mid-Cap sized companies, in particular small mid-caps, have been recognised as a part of a business’s growth cycle from an SME sized company to a small mid-cap. These companies are not yet big enough to carry the administrative burden and costs that large enterprises can carry and thus, require some support to ensure their growth in the business environment. This does not take away from the importance of SMEs, but rather highlights that small mid-caps need some support once leaving the SME definition in order to grow.
EFB will continue to follow the SME Relief Package and we will work to support the proposals made on the successful transfer of businesses, small mid-caps, access to skills and the late payment directive.