There are just four days left until the dawn of the new euro era and there are still a number of businesses in the Balearics unprepared for the single currency. A survey carried out of Palma businesses by the Balearic University two weeks ago discovered that 20 per cent of companies, in particular shops, are not dual pricing their goods in both pesetas and euros, a practice which will become law on January 1, and that some have still yet to convert their office and shop equipment. The University canvassed a total of 663 Palma businesses and that while the last minute study has concluded that in general, company awareness and readiness for the euro is very high, there is still a minority which will not be ready for the single currency in time. It is Palma small shopkeepers and businesses which are lagging behind and failure to dual price goods from January 1 could result in heavy fines. 20 per cent of the small business sector have yet to introduce dual pricing while ten per cent of large companies have not made the transition yet with 17.9 per cent of businesses not even having adapted their cash tills for the euro. Nontheless, there is an overwhelming sense of readiness for the euro with 96.7 per cent of businesses claiming to be more than ready to work with the new currency. Palma Councillor for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Lys Riera, said yesterday that the overall results of the survey are fantastic, adding that it will however be the small family business which are going to have the biggest problems with the new currency next month. Logistically, it has been much easier for small businesses to inform their staff of the euro and its implications and the vast majority of employees believe that they have been sufficiently informed. In most cases practical trials have been carried out as shops and businesses have been slowly receiving their first batches of euros. Half of the small business sector has also made the necessary arrangements to contracts and pay slips while the task is taking the larger employers slightly longer but the majority say that they have the situation in hand.
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