Interpretation of statistical data on small and medium-sized enterprises 2011-08-02

My butcher’s shop around the corner of the street is a very small enterprise, whereas it is understood that the SNCB, the Belgian national railroad company, constitutes a large enterprise.
If you go shopping in a superstore chain, you visit an outlet where more or less 100 people may be working. Perhaps there is 2 streets away another supermarket employing a comparable number of workers. 
Are we dealing in both cases with medium-sized enterprises ? Not necessarily so. The first supermarket is a store led by a franchisee. This means concretely that it is an enterprise that has its own corporate personality and has signed an agreement with a supermarket chain in order to be able to use its commercial brand name. It constitutes this franchisee’s sole establishment. The second supermarket is one of the many establishments that are the propriety of the chain. Consequently the first supermarket constitutes undeniably a medium-sized company and the second one not at all, because even if it has from a local point of view all characteristics of a medium-sized company, it still remains one of the many establishments of the chain in all corners of the country.
Assessing the relative size of the small, medium-sized and large enterprises is an interesting exercise indeed : is it not true that the dynamism of the small and medium-sized enterprises is often put up, with or without good reason, against the rigidity of the large companies ? This is undoubtedly an interesting exercise but it is also full of catches.
The NSSO is in charge of the collection of the data concerning the salaried workers employed in all private companies of the country. Consequently it is in a position to publish relevant statistics about the size of the companies. However these data have be clearly defined and do not in all cases offer an answer to all questions.
We invite you thus to visit the page 'Small and medium-sized enterprises' on this website in order to obtain more information about this issue.

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