Irish small business sentiment sours in 2019

Irish small business sentiment sours in 2019

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has today released its latest ‘Small Business Sentiment Survey’ report.

The survey tracks key trends in the small business sector. It is based on responses provided by SFA member companies (less than 50 employees) across all sectors and in all parts of the country.

A number of risk factors for 2020 have been identified in the survey, such as Brexit, the ability to attract talent and slower economic growth all of which have the potential to reduce growth and confidence in the small business sector. 

Separately, the SFA warns that the increase in the National Minimum Wage to €10.10, from February 1st, will further hinder small businesses ability to Brexit proof their businesses and maintain cost competitiveness. Increasing costs and regulatory burden, Brexit related uncertainty, global trade tensions and a tightening labour market are other concerns.

Despite this, the survey shows that two thirds of respondents indicated their intention to invest in their business and recruit over the coming year. 

Commenting on the survey, SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens said, "The fundamentals of the Irish economy are strong and economic growth and job creation are forecast to continue in 2020. However, Brexit poses one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses in years and the SFA will remain focused on preparing members for the opportunities and risks to their businesses."