The vitality and operation of SMEs are a major concern for the Spanish telecommunication company, Telefónica Spain, which provided financial support of 75 million Euros to its suppliers and national SMEs.
Two initiatives were launched:
- Advanced payment (in April) for May and June approved invoices for more than 200 Spanish small and medium-sized suppliers, totalling over 20 million euros. “This decision follows the announcement recently made by José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman and CEO of Telefónica, to shorten the payment terms to all its suppliers in Spain to help them go through these difficult moments of liquidity”.
- Digital support for SMEs to return to work, by providing free ad-hoc online courses. These trainings aim at helping companies to go digital and improving their positioning in the digital market.
Telefónica CEO presented these initiatives and mentioned the need to improve business digitalisation during the Business Summit “Spanish enterprises leading the future” on economic recovery organised by the Spanish Confederation of Employers Organisations (Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales – CEOE) on 15-25 June 2020. He highlighted the sense of responsibility of all in this crisis: “we are facing an economic challenge that requires building a new social contract; Spain is in a better situation to get out of the crisis because we have the best digital infrastructures; Europe and Spain have once again shown that they are growing in the face of difficulties; unlike previous crises, there is no stigma, there is no moral hazard; and we do not accept the false dilemma of public or private, of State or private company. It is a task and a responsibility of all. We have a common present to build a future for all”.
This statement was supported by the President of Spanish Confederation for small and medium size enterprises (Cepyme), Gerardo Cuerva, who said that “Private initiative is key. We are the ones who create employment, we are the ones who create goods and services, we are the ones who create wealth and we are the taxpayers”.
Private sector initiatives in support of SMEs are in addition to the wide range of public methods and levels of assistance: IOE publication on “Economic advocacy for SMEs to tackle Covid-19 crisis” collected the efforts by 10 regional banks including the European Central Bank along with 10 government responses to support SMEs business continuity.