The latest Small Firms Association “Business Sentiment Survey, Winter 2021' published today shows confidence among small business owners has taken a tumble in the last quarter of the year.
The small business community has muted expectations on their outlook for 2022, with 41% of small business owners being optimistic in winter 2021 compared to 55% in summer 2021.
Forty one percent of business saying that the business environment is improving compared with 55% in Summer 2021 and 43% of small businesses saw Covid restrictions on their ability to trade as their biggest challenge of the past 12 months.
Commenting on the survey, SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens said, "Many small businesses find themselves back in a situation of Covid restrictions, which they did not expect in the earlier half of the year. This has affected their ability to trade optimally. They have been particularly affected by issues such as an increase in the costs of doing business, the cost of raw materials and restricted supply chains. Domestic economic growth continues to be the primary driver of business opportunities . Ireland’s entrepreneurs continue to seek out new opportunities in their digital transformation and investing in business expansion."
He added, "The final quarter of 2021 was a difficult one for the small business community with the stop, start nature of covid restrictions causing a fall back in confidence levels. We must now need to find a way to live with Covid safely given the highly successful uptake of booster vaccinations."