The 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the retail and wholesale sector are an essential factor in terms of economic growth and job creation.
Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the European economy. 5.5 million companies in the retail and wholesale sector represent one-third of all SMEs in the EU.
They play a fundamental role with regard to economic growth and the creation of jobs. In order for them to develop, SMEs need a favourable political environment.
The European Commission recognised the central role that SMEs play in the European economy through the Small Business Act in 2008, a comprehensive policy framework for the EU and its Member States.
Much been achieved since then in the areas of access to finance, simplification of regulation and improvement of the business environment. Nevertheless, further progress is necessary in order to boost the creation and growth of SMEs. After five years of SBA implementation, the European institutions are now looking ahead and are considering the future of the EU’s SME policy.