According to a survey of 400 companies by PIMEC (Small and Medium Enterprises of Catalonia), 8 out of every 10 SMEs have no plans to move their registered office from Catalonia. The survey was carried out between 14th and 16th October. Currently, only 1% have moved their registered office to elsewhere in Spain, which would be 1300 companies in total, according to PIMEC's president, Josep González. A further 2.2% are planning the change whilst 79.3% do not plan to. Of the remainder, 15.7% don't know and 1.8% didn't reply.
In a press conference this Friday, González played down such moves, as changing a company's registered office doesn't mean "moving activity". It would, however, have some effect on the Catalan economy, although he said it has "more a sentimental or propagandistic importance". On the question of whether the political debate was causing financial concern for SMEs, 54% said no against 46% who are worried by the issue.
On the other hand, the director of PIMEC's Observatory, Modest Guinjoan, explained that there are many reasons why companies might want to change their registered office, but one of the most important is the fear some business people have of the boycott their products might suffer. On this topic, González criticised the Spanish government for "taking advantage" of the situation to foster companies leaving Catalonia which, according to the president, makes dialogue more difficult. "These politicians don't know how to negotiate. The business world is disappointed by political incapability when looking for solution as we business people are used to doing," he said.
Finally, González criticised statements from the president of Catalan employers association Foment de Treball (Work Promotion), Joaquim Gay de Montellà, describing them as "alarmist" and "imprudent" in a moment that needs responsibility. Nor has the central government shown this responsibility for González, who believes the revisions to the GDP growth forecast are "unrigorous".