A study for the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) provides initial insights into the effects of the global and financial crisis on SMEs in Germany. Export-oriented industries and manufacturing were greatly affected by the crisis. However, the comparatively high employment levels have been maintained by adopting short-time working schemes and other measures. Whilst the government and social partners have set up initiatives and taken action to help SMEs at the regional or national level, constructive solutions have also been presented by collective bargaining partners.