A PACKAGE of financial and other types of assistance to help high-street retailers, small family-run shops and village stores, especially in rural Spain, is being prepared by the national government in a bid to keep them trading.
Online shopping is threatening the presence of physical shops practically everywhere in the world, and Spain is particularly vulnerable to this as nearly three-quarters of companies of all types are small and medium-sized businesses, owned and run by families, and with staff numbers in single figures.
This is even more pronounced in Spain’s least-populated areas, such as rural parts a long distance from their nearest coast or large city.
Minister for industry, commerce and tourism, Reyes Maroto, says a scheme is being drawn up to help retailers ‘modernise’ their facilities and adapt to the ‘digital age’ and new consumer habits, in order to become ‘more competitive’.
New technology and training on how to use it – and encouraging its use – setting up online and international sales systems, and developing protection against anti-competition practices are among the key areas the ministry wants to act in.
Support and advice via the Chambers of Commerce and local trade associations will also be offered.
As yet, the amount of funding due to be set aside for the schemes has not been confirmed.
Reyes Maroto has been working on these ideas ever since she first joined the cabinet in summer 2018.
She wants to adopt the strategies to help streamline the transition for younger workers taking over from those due to retire and to make retail technology easy to use for more elderly customers without computer skills.