How many companies are there in your locality?

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It may be surprising that a website town hall dedicate a section to promotion of the companies installed in its territory, but Alesón has plenty of reasons for it. This small Riojan town of 117 inhabitants concentrates the largest business density from the country. Located next to Nájera and about twenty minutes from Logroño, 34 companies were active in that town as of January 1, 2014, which represents a ratio of 290 companies for every 1,000 inhabitants.

This is clear from the compilation and subsequent analysis of the municipal data from the Central Business Directory (DIRCE) published by the INE in an inaccessible format. The consultation of this information requires searching province by province and downloading the records in several files, which later had to be merged into a single database. The number of companies was then crossed with the latest figures from the municipal register as of January 1, 2014 [descargue aquí los datos].

After Alesón is located Beniparrell, with a density of 266 companies per 1,000 inhabitants. Given its proximity to the capital of Turia, the Valencian town, with about 2,000 residents, is surrounded of industrial estates, which means that in its 3.68 square kilometers of surface there are 522 companies installed.

With 80 companies per 1,000 inhabitants, Barcelona is the province with the highest business density

Fernando Javier Crecente, professor at the Department of Economics and Business Management at the University of Alcalá, explains by email the importance of industrial estates in order to facilitate access to raw materials and other supplies, hence the industries set up in these areas “to save production costs, reduce times in the stocks and avoid manipulation risks ”.

Likewise, companies seek feedback from industrial estates and associate with other auxiliary companies. In this way, the different elements of the production chain are located very close to each other, facilitating their complementarity and lowering costs.

Barcelona and Huelva, the two extremes

With 80 companies for every 1,000 inhabitants, Barcelona is the province with the highest business density. Three other regions of the east peninsula (Girona, Lleida and the Balearic Islands) are among the top five in this section. Madrid appears in the third position, with 77.55 companies. Despite the leadership of these provinces, Crecente warns that the crisis has caused a reduction in this advantage.

In this sense, the high business density of a good part of the municipalities stands out bordering France. For the professor at the University of Alcalá, this circumstance is explained by the strategic situation border, which favors the establishment of companies in the transport and telecommunications sectors, as well as export companies and international trade. “The innovative effort and greater competitiveness of these companies have favored the stabilization of their industrial fabric ”, adds Crecente.

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If the northeast of the peninsula concentrates the highest business density in the country, the opposite extreme is characterized by the opposite phenomenon. So, Cádiz and Huelva registered 45 companies for every 1,000 inhabitants, only ahead of the autonomous cities of Melilla (44.86) and Ceuta (42.43). This low concentration extends over most of the southern provinces and also on the border between Asturias and León.

Crecente points out that these territories approached the national average in the years prior to the crisis, but the economic deterioration the country has slowed down this evolution. “The regions are in the process of adjusting their business structure, since in the boom times they had oversized the business fabric with companies that, with the onset of the crisis, demonstrated not very competitive”, He points out.

Likewise, the teacher places special emphasis on small medium size of the Spanish company, which in his opinion has meant “not only a brake on productivity and competitiveness in most of the regions in the long term, but the beginning of a new process of divergence between the Spanish regions ”.

Low intensity physical and technological capital

The CCD data also shows the differences in the business tissue of the provinces [descargue aquí los datos]. At the national level, four out of ten companies belong to the sector services, a percentage similar to that of the companies of Commerce. This structure is similar to that of the rest of the developed countries, although Spain has some peculiarities that differ from the more advanced European states.

“In recent years, the importance of the sector of the building, much higher than that of the euro zone countries as a whole, while the contribution of the industry Spanish is one of the smallest of the set of European countries, especially when compared with Germany“, Explains Fernando Javier Crecente.

The professor from the University of Alcalá also emphasizes the preponderance of the hostelry in the Spanish business fabric, with all the consequences that this entails: “The business specialization of the Spanish economy continues to be based on activities of low intensity in physical and technological capital, such as commercial distribution and hospitality and restoration”.

This business structure varies from province to province. Thus, while more than half of Madrid’s companies are engaged in the service sector, commerce is the most common activity in Huelva, Jaén, Cádiz and Badajoz, with a percentage very close to 50%. For its part, industry peaks at Albacete, The Rioja and Álava, while construction does the same in Teruel and Guadalajara.

“The pattern of specialization appears historically influenced by the geographical conditions of the territories, ”says Crecente, while mentioning the installation costs and the existence of an adequate network of infrastructures as other factors that determine the installation of a society in one territory or another.

The university professor also refers to the economic advantages and regional government and city council prosecutors to attract companies, especially in areas close to large business centers, as can be seen in the provinces surrounding Madrid.

Not surprisingly, the attraction and installation of companies in an area aims to boost the economy of that territory in two ways: increasing the tax revenue of the Administration and promoting employment among citizens.

Update 18:16 hours

Methodological note: as stated in the methodology, the Central Directory of Companies does not count the companies engaged in agricultural and fishing production, the administrative services of the Central Autonomous and Local Administration (including Social Security), the activities of the communities of owners and domestic service.

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