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SME FINANCE: EU Parliament hits the nail on the head

February 16 2011

The European Small Business Alliance congratulates the European Parliament on adopting by a large majority a motion for a resolution on improving SME finance. Access to finance is still one of the major obstacles faced by SMEs today. At the same time, finance is absolutely crucial to help the creation of SMEs and enable their growth. The motion which made its way through the Plenary today aptly highlights the core challenges regarding SME finance and offers concrete suggestions to the European Commission on how to tackle these issues. Emphasising the heterogeneity within the SME spectrum, the likely effects of increased capital requirements in the banking sector on SME lending and the need for simplification of EU funding are amongst the key areas discussed.

ESBA President Tina Sommer said: ''I am pleased with the outcome of today's vote. The document, as well as the wide support it received, shows that the many calls for improvement by SMEs in this area have been heard. ESBA particularly welcomes the realisation that certain obstacles can weigh exceptionally heavy on micro-businesses, which is why even within the SME spectrum, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. ESBA shares the Parliament's concerns regarding the effects of Basel III on the ability for SMEs to acquire loans and underlines the need for a one-stop shop to create clarity in the jungle of EU funding. However, I do warn against over-focussing on 'highly innovative and fast growing companies', as they represent only a minority of EU small businesses.
ESBA urges the Commission to take this motion for a resolution as a vantage point for the further development of its SME finance policy.''

Motion for a resolution: Motion