Dennis de Jong: SP is most reliable ally of small business

9 December 2009

Dennis de Jong: SP is most reliable ally of small business

"Brussels looks too much to the interests of big corporations, despite the fact that nine out of ten workplaces belong to firms classed as 'SMEs', small- and medium-sized enterprises. Real entrepreneurs deserve our support and respect". So says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, who today addressed a meeting of members of the executive of Eurocommerce on the subject of 'entrepreneurship and the crisis'. Eurocommerce is the European federation of retail companies, 95% of the members of which are SMEs. De Jong is the first representative of the SP to have spoken at a Eurocommerce meeting.

Dennis de JongIn his speech De Jong drew attention to the contrast between big and small enterprises. The biggest financial institutions and other corporations have grown so large that they are said to be 'too big to fail'. The state has to intervene when things go wrong, leading to high budget deficits and spending cuts. The ordinary citizen pays the price for failing managers.

At the same time for SMEs, the biggest pacesetter when it comes to employment creation and innovation, things are getting ever more difficult. Their voice is heard far too little in Brussels, which constantly makes the life of small business people harder by introducing all kinds of senseless rules. An example of this is the regulation of public procurement. To complete the public procurement procedure you need a lot of information, and it's a lot harder for a small business to keep tabs on this than it is for a big firm. In addition, tenders are often bundled into a single big order which simply can't be filled by a small company. In every way big corporations have things easier than small enterprises.

According to De Jong, it's time to take a critical look at competition policy. "We must organise the market so that there's space for a variety of suppliers, so that there are not two or three big players but a large number of small firms and mergers are contained. The human scale must be brought back into the economy." The SP sees itself as the ally of small- and medium-sized enterprises and will aid SMEs in making their voices heard more loudly in Brussels than those of the corporate lobby.

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