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Government became the new enemy of small business – Catalonia case study

The power of democracy is in its middle class. It is really quite simple and easy to understand. In a society in which a middle class does not exist, the division of the social order is dichotomic. Without a middle class the power of the elite to exploit the weak population is un-proportionate. In such a case, two layers of society will exist, a small group of self interest, riches and a majority of the poor. The principal of democracy which encourages freedom and equality needs a middle class layer, promoting a social diversity which in its turn is in charge of monitoring the rich and granting a range of opportunities to the rest of the population.

A healthy middle class is constructed based on the concept of small business owners. An industry which I take big pride to be part of. When thinking about and looking at your neighborhood, hopefully, the majority of the diversity of an individual shopping is made in those small businesses. Those stores, not only protect the customers by creating a healthy quality and pricing competition. It also allows families to maintain themselves respectfully by doing something they like and, in many cases, believe in. Those small and medium businesses are the foundation of our democracy. They protect us from the tyranny of cooperation and allow a fair and enjoyable employment for a big part of the local population.

Following the economical crisis and the enlargement of the national debts hold by the majority of the European countries, the amount of taxes taken from small businesses has risen in a dangerous speed. The sales tax, employment tax, IRPF (in some countries) and social security are just a part of the taxes that are imposed those days. All those taxes are taken aggressively and automatically from smaller businesses. The effect of those taxes, affect every aspect of our society. It obliges the increase in the price for the final customer, it diminishes the salaries of the employees and in many cases diminish drastically the income of the small business owner.

Many will say that it is necessary and important to support our government, which is true. From the other side, if the government is not supporting the small businesses from its side, would it not be an unfair way of operating a society?

I happened to live in Barcelona, where a clear economical crisis is on its way. The political event of the 1st of October 2017 and its continuation (up to this day) has affected drastically all the small businesses. The amount of tourism dropped un-proportionally, the sales cycle of stores in the tourist areas dropped in more than 40% and the general investment in the last quarter of 2017 drop by more than 60%.

Nevertheless, the government, which is the sole responsible for all this mess, not only continue to take all the taxes it charges but also refuses to delay those payments. Many stores are closing around me and many people are starting to join the unemployment market. Which will diminish the purchasing of the local and will create in its turn more closure of stores and unemployment.

The government is killing the small businesses in that way, which is killing the middle class. Is it not time to stop paying for the mistakes of the cooperation and the politician? How many more signs are we looking for?

If the same is happening around you. Please share it. Only by sharing we will create awareness and only with awareness, we can create a change.

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The gap between economic date and real life – A different retail perspective

Real Life Economy

The gap between economic data and real life- A different retail perspective.

In the last days, many newspapers have published article regarding the synchronized growth of the world economy. Without any doubt we could come to believe that the daily economic situation of the people around the world is improving. So how come the majority of the population in the western world do not feel that way?

I’m operating retail stores in Europe for many years, at the moment in Barcelona. My occupation is categories as a small family business, which for many years allow me to live respectfully and proudly.  Reading those newspapers surprised me and made me feel a bit uncomfortable, as the reality around me do not reflect in any way those publications. For the sake of checking my sanity and make sure I didn’t lose my business professionality, I called a few of my friends around Europe that are occupying themselves in business to ask about their reality.

I shared with them that the last year (2017), was one of the hardest years of retail I ever had. That the amount of taxes that I’m paying comparing to my sales cycle are growing and suffocating my capacity to pay respectful salaries to my employees and to maintain a business in general. I spoke with them openly about the bad feeling in the streets and the amount of small businesses that are closing around due to lack of sales. And ask them if the same is happening around them.

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The reaction of all of them was the same. The retail market is suffering everywhere in Europe. The last summer was the weakest in years, Xmas was hardly felt. the capacity of small retailer to maintain a dissent income is diminishing and their team of employees has been cut by 50%-100%. Some of them has closed their store and joined the employment pool for the first time in their life.

Such a gap between media publication and actual life is normally a symptom of a sick society.

How do you perceive  it in your life? Share your opinion and make it count.

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Government became the new enemy of small business – Catalonia case study