Open letter to the European government

Honourable Members of Parliament
Dear committee members,

I am Gregory Liénard, founder of iPower and its CEO for over 20 years. iPower was nominated by Deloitte as fastest growing technology company in 2018 and 2019. This year, iPower was nominated as ‘Trends Gazellen’, for being an inspiring role model for other companies. iPower specialises in online marketing, more specifically, helping websites rank as quickly and as high as possible in Google’s organic search results.

Online marketing? You are probably thinking “Money, money”. Especially when during the lockdown all companies suddenly had to expand their activities online. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Most companies did not realise this, in addition to developing a website, they also had to invest in online marketing. To reach the top of Google’s search results with more than just your company name, to acquire new customers, you have to invest in the content and authority of your website. Especially with a new website, it can take months and cost a lot of money. Going online quickly is not an out-of-the-box solution for companies.

The only thing that generates potential customers in a relatively short amount of time, is paying advertisements: Google Ads, Facebook ads, … Which means bidding against your competitors until it becomes so expensive, that costs no longer outweigh profits. Those who do not watch their digital advertising budget like a hawk, can spend thousands of euros every month. Either do it yourself, or let a marketing company do it for you. But even when you outsource your online advertising efforts, most of the budget will go to the ads themselves, i.e. to internet giants that have only seen their sales grow exponentially since the COVD19 crisis began.

In comparison to the rest of the Western world, Europe is seriously lagging behind in terms of vaccination coverage. European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans has already admitted that mistakes were made ordering the vaccines, which may mean it has become impossible to catch up. Please, do not allow the same thing happening to the European economic recovery.

The United States have given the green light to the $ 1 900 billion economic recovery plan, partly due to the higher vaccination rate. This means that, by May, US citizens will be able to once again live normal lives, all shops will be open and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity. This alone will trigger an economic growth spurt. On top of that, there will be the injection of $1,900 billion into the US economy. We are not even talking about China, where the strength of the economy has almost reached the level from before the corona crisis.

If you do not take action now, many of our European companies, which were healthy before the COVID19 crisis, will go under. Either they go bankrupt or they will be acquired by non-European companies. Who, of course, have the necessary know-how to channel away profits to avoid as much as possible having to pay European taxes.

That is why I am pleading for a European economic recovery plan that at least matches the initiative of the United States, with money that can only be used within the EU. Simple enough so that an SME does not have to hire an expert to apply for a subsidy.  And fast, before our European companies are overrun by American or Chinese companies.

Honourable Members of the European Parliament, honourable Members of the European Commission, the ball is in your court: work quickly, very quickly, on a strong European economic recovery plan.

Gregory Liénard,
CEO of iPower

PS: If you want to support this appeal, please sign our petition here.

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