53,420 small businesses in Turkey close doors in first half of 2019

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Shop owners sit in front of their shops in Gaziantep, in the south-west province of Turkey, on May 1, 2018. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

According to data provided by the Turkish Tradesmen and Artisans’ Confederation (TESK), 53,420 small business owners in Turkey closed up shop in the first six months of the year, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The figure showed an increase of 433 failed businesses over the same period last year.

Last year’s total was already at a record high, standing at 106,167 businesses, which represented a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year.

TESK said the number of small businesses shutting down since 2014 has surpassed half a million, reaching 569,757.

Small businesses are also faced with growing burdens of debt.

According to Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) figures, the total volume of loans taken out by small business owners in May of this year stood at TL 629 billion ($110 billion), up from TL 551 billion ($96 billion) in May 2018.

The total value of non-performing small business loans surged 91 percent in the last year.

The president of TESK, Bendevi Palandöken, said small business owners, despite having the worst workload, pay more insurance premiums than any other group and have higher requirements for retirement.

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