European funds are not reaching smaller companies. To small companies, which are the ones that make up most of the Spanish business fabric. The Bank of Spain confirms this, and also warns of the opportunity cost of not reaching that level and remaining in the largest companies.
“Those that are receiving European funds are relatively large companies. The fact that the tenders fall on large companies would help to increase activity in the short term. But the economic literature also tells us that there is in an opportunity cost in this fact, because supporting small companies in tenders helps stimulate their growth and that leads to greater dynamism in aggregate investment in the long term”, explained yesterday the general director of Economy and Statistics, Ángel Gavilán, during the presentation of the new economic projections of the organism.
The Bank of Spain, added Gavilán, has not yet identified the reasons that explain this situation. But at this point, the fact that large companies have more financial muscle to be able to co-finance investment projects seems key. The little ones also find bureaucratic obstacles and difficulties in order to present the necessary documentation.
According to a study by Cepyme (the employers’ association of small and medium-sized companies), 65% of SMEs “consider that they will not be able to participate in investments or receive subsidies from the Recovery Plan. Among the difficulties indicated are the excessive bureaucratic burden, with very short submission deadlines and very long concession deadlines, as well as the lack of anticipation capacity regarding the launching of calls and support to understand the requirements.
Therefore, these companies have focused on specifically designed calls for them, such as those linked to the digital kit, “or in horizontal programs, such as PERTE VEC, in whose industrial call 60% of SMEs have participated”, according to information from the Ministry of Industry collected by the LLYC consultancy.