Small businesses a high priority [pg. 17]

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry said small businesses would be a high priority of the ministry's overall program in 2006, and that it would work on a program to promote small and medium businesses in government tenders and legislate their rights. "Various studies around the world, and particularly in developed economies, indicate that small and medium businesses are the most dynamic and innovative factors, and the most adapted to economic changes occurring in the world economy, and that they are the primary source for quick reduction in the dimensions of unemployment," the Ministry said. "For these reasons, in most western countries thorough government assistance is given to this economic sector by various means, and generally concentrated in one government body." Creating jobs in small businesses is also inexpensive, at around NIS 6,000 per position, against NIS 75,000 per position in a big business, the ministry said, attributing the disparity to the need for larger investments in equipment, structures, employee training, and other items when creating a job in a big business. Small and medium businesses together account for 95% of Israeli enterprises, the ministry said.