SMALL (micro) to medium businesses are popping up across the country from brewers in sheds to cake makers in cottage kitchens.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for 99% of Welsh business stock and provide employment for well over half the private sector workforce1. With the gradual decline of heavy industry in Wales, the role of SMEs within our economy could not be more pronounced or more intrinsically important. Indeed, the success of our economy and its place within the wider world depends heavily on the health of these important businesses.
Small and medium sized businesses are the engine of the EU economy, employing 2 out of 3 Europeans.
In a EU Commission report (SME Performance Review) the author states that ‘The EU SMEs’ strong recovery continues’.
The report states: “Fuelled by the economic recovery, between 2014 and 2016 the number of high-growth firms in the EU increased by 24%. Two-thirds of these enterprises come from only six Member States (Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Poland).”
Despite the doom and gloom and the chaos of Brexit small and medium businesses are surviving. The outlook for 2018 and 2019 remains positive but somewhat uncertain due to unsettled international trade conditions.
The Single Market is the go-to market for EU-28 SMEs. It accounted for 70% of the value of SME exports, with 80% of exporting SMEs selling to other Member States.
The economic significance of the indirect contribution made by SMEs to exports is frequently underestimated.
Here in Carmarthenshire there have been success stories. Tinworks Brewing Company is a micro business based in Five Roads.
The aim of the TinWorks team is to bring Llanelli’s beer scene into the 21st century. The company states that they take inspiration from the craft breweries from across the pond(America).
Their aim is to forge American style beers with a Welsh twist. Beers are hand-crafted.
We caught up with Matthew from Tinworks Brewing Company and some other small businesses at the Llanelli Food Festival held in the town centre recently.