Palma.—The Union of professionals and the Self-Employed (UPTA) reported yesterday that over the past five years, 3'076 small commercial businesses have been forced to close in the Balearics, the equivalent of 14.7 percent of the entire sector.

In January, 2008 there were 20'916 self employed people running their own small commercial businesses in the Balearics, at the end of last year, that figure had shrunk to 17'840.

So, according to the conclusion of the report released yesterday, 3'076 small commercial and family businesses have gone to the wall over the past five years. However, there does appear to have been a very slight up turn over the past year.
According to UPTA, 85 self employed people set up new commercial business, a stark contract to the 1'408 small businesses which were forced to close across the country last year.

But, 85 new businesses is not going to lift the Balearics out of recession and in Palma for example, shops, bars and restaurants are opening and closing all the time.

The latest sector of the high street to be taking a huge hit appears to be the travel agents.
Along the Paseo Mallorca, for example, two have closed in as many weeks while new bars and restaurants continue to open.
But, according to the union, is that the small self employed and family businesses, once lost will never be recovered, and that leads to long term unemployment for many and the consequence of that is a further decline in consumer confidence and high street spending and so the affects of the recession drags on up and down the high streets of the Balearics leading to more and more businesses being forced to close.

As the retail sector has been complaining since the start of the year, the winter sales have proved to have been a let down and that the freeing up of the market has simply led to confusion for both traders and shoppers.

And, it is the same, if not worse, scenario on the mainland where nearly 100'000 small businesses have been lost over the past five years.
That is the equivalent of 11 percent, slightly worse than in the Balearics.


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