companies, and the National Development Agency guaranteed almost 590 million dollars in loans in this period, highlighted the secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado, at the first National Meeting of SME Centers. In Uruguay, there are 197,000 MSMEs, which make up 67% of the national workforce and represent 40% of GDP.
Delgado led, together with the Vice President of the Republic, Beatriz Argimón, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche, the opening of this event, which will take place on Monday the 15th and Tuesday the 16th, in the annex building of the Executive Tower, as part of the National Day of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which was commemorated on August 13.
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Secretary of the Presidency, Rodrigo Ferrés; the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Pablo Mieres, and the president of the National Development Agency (ANDE), Carmen Sánchez.
During the presentations, Argimón highlighted the consensus of parliamentarians to establish incentives for MSMEs. Likewise, he highlighted ANDE’s role in the process of fostering authentic decentralization, which made it possible to attend to different realities and needs within the country.
Delgado, for his part, recognized the work of the strategic partners in the implementation of the program to generate equal opportunities. He added that “the awakening” of the sector was after the health emergency and valued the progress made by companies and their motivation to move forward.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Executive Branch has provided more than 65 million dollars in subsidies to MSMEs. In addition, ANDE guaranteed more than 588 million dollars in loans, he said.
The hierarch affirmed that there is a Government commitment with the entrepreneurial sector and with a support policy for the development of MSMEs, “which are key in the development of our country”.
For Arbeleche, meanwhile, MSMEs are the engine of the national economy, which is why they represent an activity that the Government intended to keep running at the start of the pandemic. The focus is to support these companies through different legal instruments and measures, he indicated.
The MSME sector is made up of some 197,000 companies that are responsible for two out of every three jobs that are generated. In particular, in the interior of the country, they generate 77% of existing job opportunities, reported the president of ANDE.
Sánchez stressed that outside the capital, MSMEs increased 68% compared to the 35% growth registered in Montevideo. In addition, he valued the public-private articulation and with the departmental governments, which contribute resources and actively participate in the management.
The first edition of the Meeting of SME Centers brings together in Montevideo strategic partners, such as chambers and private business organizations, as well as those responsible for the territorial and operational management of the centers, and the technical teams that serve entrepreneurs. There are 18 SME Centers distributed in 15 departments, and ANDE plans to open another three. These spaces offer advice and technical and financial support for the development of MSMEs.