Serious threats abound for small businesses according to the Chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA), AJ Noonan, who was today addressing over 500 small businesses at the SFA Annual Lunch.
Brexit is one factor in this shift according to the SFA Chairman. Forty one per cent of SFA members report that Brexit has already had a negative impact on their business, rising to 68% expecting a negative impact in the next 6 months.
In May, 66% of small businesses thought the business environment was improving, this has dropped to 50%. The number that feels it is disimproving has jumped from 3% to 18%. In the SFA quarterly sentiment survey conducted just this week, managing wage expectations has emerged as the most important issue facing small businesses.
The Government has already committed to effectively a 2.5% pay increase per public sector worker with €150mn in increments and €317mn under existing commitments under Lansdowne Road. In contrast, just 60% of SFA members are able to give pay increases this year with the average being 2%.
SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan today commented, "We need immediate Government intervention to help sustainable businesses maintain their businesses and the jobs they employ in every part of the country to survive this crisis, with direct stabilisation funding and with new low interest and specialised export credit insurance and trade finance. We need Government to become obsessive about our cost-competitiveness and tax-competitiveness vis-à-vis the UK."