14 September, 2023

EU SME Relief Package addresses shortcomings but leaves more to be desired


This week the European Commission presented its long-awaited SME relief package. The Malta Business Bureau (MBB) welcomes the proposals in the new SME Relief Package aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe become more resilient and competitive but believes that more clarity is required on how commitments will be implemented to truly help SMEs overcome the challenges currently faced and to thrive in the years to come. The package includes measures to reduce the regulatory burden, boost SMEs’ long-term competitiveness, and strengthen fairness in the business environment. It is a good step forward in making it easier for SMEs to do business but needs more ambition to help them to grow and thrive.

In the past years, SMEs have faced several challenges, including the global pandemic, high inflation, supply chain disruption, skills shortages, and increasing regulatory burden.

Through the SME Relief Package, the European Commission introduces a Regulation on combating Late Payments. This regulation revises a current Directive setting binding maximum payment terms at 30 days for public authorities and business-to-business transactions. It will also make the payment of compensatory fees and interest legally automatic in case of late payment. The Commission believes this will help SMEs improve their cash flow.

Commenting on the new regulation concerning the Late Payments Regulation, MBB CEO Joe Tanti stated that; ‘’a culture of on time payment is essential, and shorter payment terms in business-to-business transactions helps the liquidity of SMEs. However, the law should also preserve freedom of contract and provide the flexibility for businesses to agree on bilateral terms according to their own circumstances.”

The European Commission in its package also plans to create an enabling business environment by reducing the regulatory burden for SMEs and simplifying administrative procedures, together with reporting requirements. It also proposes to strengthen the SME test, to appoint an EU SME Envoy, and improve access to finance for SMEs by increasing the financing guarantee under the InvestEU programme. It will also provide specific tools to help SMEs develop sustainable competitiveness skills such as apprenticeships and training schemes.

“The SME Relief Package is a positive step in the right direction but more needs to be done to support SMEs. The EU needs to build on this package by ensuring that financial support reaches SMEs, avoids introducing new regulatory burdens, increase access to markets and invest in skills and training. By taking these steps, the EU can effectively help SMEs continue to recover from the current global economic challenges,” Mr. Tanti concluded.

All News

View All

21 February, 2024

TradeMalta assists local companies to showcase their culinary delights...

...

Learn More
09 February, 2024

Geo-political tensions persist, but low public debt and high bank liqu...

...

Learn More
07 February, 2024

Malta Business Bureau Reaffirms its Role as Malta’s Business Gateway...

...

Learn More
17 January, 2024

The Malta Chamber and BNF Bank p.l.c Renew Bronze Collaboration Agreem...

...

Learn More

All News

View All

Chamber News

21 February, 2024

TradeMalta assists local companies to showcase their culinary delights...

...

Learn More

Chamber News

09 February, 2024

Malta Business Bureau Reacts to 2040 EU Climate Target Recommendation...

...

Learn More

Chamber News

09 February, 2024

Geo-political tensions persist, but low public debt and high bank liqu...

...

Learn More

Chamber News

07 February, 2024

Malta Business Bureau Reaffirms its Role as Malta’s Business Gateway...

...

Learn More

upcoming events

View All

Upcoming Events

27 February, 2024

Workshop: Employees wellbeing and engagement

...

Learn More

Upcoming Events

04 March, 2024

Online Info Session: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

...

Learn More

Upcoming Events

06 March, 2024

What's Trending - Social Media in Malta

...

Learn More

Upcoming Events

12 March, 2024

Info Session on Sustainability Support

...

Learn More

upcoming events

View All

27 Feb
upcoming event 27 February, 2024, 08:30 AM

Workshop: Employees wellbeing and engagement

Learn More
04 Mar
upcoming event 04 March, 2024, 10:30 AM

Online Info Session: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Learn More
06 Mar
upcoming event 06 March, 2024, 08:30 AM

What's Trending - Social Media in Malta

Learn More
12 Mar
upcoming event 12 March, 2024, 08:30 AM

Info Session on Sustainability Support

Learn More
20 Mar
upcoming event 20 March, 2024, 05:30 PM

Annual General Meeting 2024

Learn More