Ninety-nine percent of the 5.5m retail or wholesale businesses are small-and-medium enterprises. Many of them are the lifeblood of our cities and villages. In the digital age, with technological disruption and changing shopper behaviour,opportunities for new businesses arise; existing SMEs have to seize these new opportunities and adapt. City councillors also have to ensure that urban planning is conducted in a smart and future-oriented way, involving all stakeholders and stimulating public-private partnerships.
At its annual SME conference in Brussels on 15 October, EuroCommerce members and stakeholders will look at how to make city centres exciting places to shop in, and how digital technology can boost the competiveness of small businesses.
The event will allow retailers to exchange views and experience with other entrepreneurs, public authorities, policymakers and stakeholders. They will also be able to present to European decision-makers the challenges faced by SMEs on the high street and gain useful knowledge of successful projects and initiatives carried out at local level. Speakers will be sharing their direct experience of working to boost the life of city centres and using digital technology to give SMEs a competitive edge. See detailed programme.