Choking small businesses need state support
THE latest quarterly tracking survey of the fortunes of small and medium enterprises from the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) paints a grim picture of a sector that, if it has stopped declining, is certainly a long way away from significant growth.
Most of the key indicators, such as business confidence, future expectations, and sales expectations are better than they were a year or two ago, but, apart from exports, there is little prospect for growth in the short term.
Clearly it's in ISME's interests to claim their members are struggling and need more government help. The problems are the same as they have been since the bust began. Lack of credit, weak domestic demand, and unmanageable property debts are choking off a sector vital to the economy. The Government claims it has put small business at the centre of its plans, but until these questions are dealt with that will be hard to believe.