STAFF REPORTER OVER the past year, 35 percent of businesses on Majorca have been forced to close. Salvador Canudas, President of the industrial sector of the island's small to medium-sized business association, PIMEM, saw fit to comment yesterday that “business is in a critical condition” and said that “the worst is yet to come.” He believed that “the situation hasn't bottomed out yet” and predicted an even gloomier winter with a long, slow path to recuperation. Canudas pointed out that when a small business owner shut up shop, it was because is was unable to ride out the storm of recession and risk making any further investment.

He said that the businesses which have been most adversely affected by the crisis are those which are linked to the construction industry such as carpentry, and iron and aluminium works. In this sector alone, 45 percent of small firms have been forced to close within a year. Similarly, vehicle mechanics and their workshops have been struggling to keep their heads above water with 35 percent of companies in this group of businesses shutting up shop within the space of 12 months.

In spite of the difficulties, those which seem to be having most success are food and footwear industries.
But even so, takings in food businesses have plummeted between 40 and 50 percent over the past year. Increasingly noticeable is the number of warehouses and workshops which are up for sale or rent on Majorca's industrial estates as a result of the recession. Particularly badly hit are newly built estates in the outlying areas of the island. Balearic President Francesc Antich has promised financial help.