His Majesty the King highlighted that SMEs are the “backbone of our productive fabric” and “the basis of the Spanish economy”, during his speech at the national final of the 2021 SME of the Year Award, an award given by the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and Banco Santander.
His Majesty praised the “commitment” of Spanish SMEs, especially in recent years of the pandemic, as well as their “ability to adapt, perseverance and effort with the ultimate goal of maintaining and, as far as possible, generating employment and wellness”. “You are a pride for all of us,” she assured. His Majesty the King has also recalled the exceptional circumstances that we are experiencing, due to the war in Ukraine, and that have a direct impact on your daily work, as well as the “effort” that “will have to continue to be very necessary”. For this reason, he assured, “small and medium-sized companies require the greatest possible institutional support and a boost to grow more solidly, which will help generate a more far-reaching structural change that will strengthen the business fabric and contribute to general economic growth and the creation of more and better jobs.
A context, in which, “it will be key that European funds contribute unequivocally and profoundly to promoting the modernization of our country and our companies, to transform our economy.”
Highlight 1: His Majesty the King has assured that Spanish SMEs are “a pride for us” for their “ability to adapt, perseverance and effort with the ultimate goal of maintaining and, as far as possible, generating employment and well-being” . And for this reason, they require the “greatest possible institutional support and an impulse to grow more solidly.”
His Majesty the King has awarded the National SME of the Year 2021 Award to the company Seabery Augmented Technology, from Huelva, dedicated to the development of educational technologies based on simulation with augmented and virtual reality. Its president, Basilio Marquínez, thanked his team “los seaberyanos”, as true winners of the award, and stressed that the company is “the story of the ‘American dream’ in the Spanish style”, because it is a project that began at home and has become a fully internationalized company, with a presence in 75 countries.”
The King with the winner
In addition to the National SME of the Year Award, the national second prizes were awarded: for Internationalization, to Yurrita and Hijos de Gipuzkoa; Innovation and Digitization, to Pigchamp Pro Europe from Segova; Training and Employment, to Kimitec de Almena; and Responsible Company, to Teiga TMI, from A Coruña. The Institute of Genomic Medicine SL of Valencia has obtained the Special Mention “COVID Reinvention”, which recognizes the resilience of companies to the pandemic.
The event was also attended by the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory of Spain, Félix Bolaños, who encouraged companies to also highlight “the resistance and ability to adapt” of SMEs Spanish companies in “these difficult years” and recalled that the European Next Generation EU funds must “contribute to the strengthening of SMEs so that they add more value” in the face of the challenges we face.
At the opening of the event, the president of Santander Spain, Luis Isasi, highlighted the key role of businessmen as generators of prosperity and congratulated them for their work in these difficult times: “you businessmen have shown greatness, commitment, exemplary sacrifice and effort. And you deserve the respect and support of the whole society.” In addition, he highlighted the bank’s unconditional support in this environment, »we want to continue to be by their side to work together on this necessary recovery and transformation of the business fabric: The president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet, praised the resilience of the SMEs and their ability to overcome, referring to them as the «authentic essential social shield to face situations as adverse as the ones we are experiencing. The businessmen and businesswomen who are with us today are authentic social leaders to whom the whole of society is indebted».
Highlight 2 The Chairman of Santander Spain highlighted the role of businessmen as generators of prosperity: “You have shown exemplary greatness, commitment, sacrifice and effort. And you deserve the respect and support of the whole society.
Featured3: The president of the Chamber of Spain has praised the resilience of SMEs and their ability to overcome, referring to them as the “authentic essential social shield to face situations as adverse as the ones we are experiencing”.
The president of the SME Commission of the Spanish Chamber and secretary of the Award jury, Isabel Puig Ferrer, highlighted the work carried out by this commission, which has focused on “identifying and promoting measures that contribute to increasing the size of SMEs. Their small size makes them more vulnerable and less resistant to situations of crisis and uncertainty such as the current one, and makes it difficult for them to achieve other objectives such as internationalization or innovation.”
The jury was made up of the president of the Chamber of Spain, José Luis Bonet, who has acted as its president: the general director of Commercial Banking of Santander Spain, Ángel Rivera; the entity’s director of SMEs, Asier González Linaza; the general director of the Chamber of Spain Inmaculada Riera; the deputy director of El País, Miguel Jiménez, and the general director of Prensa Prisa Media, Juan Cantón.