SMALL businesses in Andalucia are buckling under the strain of Spain’s recession.
Over 80% of the region’s companies have three employees or less, with many relying on the dwindling tourism industry.
It is tiny businesses like these that are most likely to suffer from the economic slump.
“Tourism right now is a disaster, said Juan Zabala Franco, who sells horse and cart rides along the Guadalquivir River.
“There was an explosion of money as the banks lent to everyone, and now we are paying for that,” added the 44-year-old, who said one of the main problems is the fact many tourists now come to Spain on package tours where everything is included.
“They don’t have a budget for anything else,” he said.
But there is some good news.
Despite the dire state of Andalucia’s economy – with over 30% living below the poverty line and one in three jobless – it has the lowest debt-per-person ratio in Spain, mainly because its population is so large.