Firms feel squeeze in search for talent
Inability to recruit staff is now the number one threat to small businesses in Ireland.
Sven Spollen-Behrens, director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), yesterday said that the tightening labour market was proving to be very challenging for SFA members.
Two-thirds of them are looking to recruit over the next 12 months.
And it appears that labour market pressures are having an impact on the outlook of small businesses, with sentiment having fallen nine percentage points in the past six months, according to a survey from the SFA.
Just over half (53pc) of small firms now believe that the business environment is improving, down from 62pc last November.
"Even in a growing economy, less than half of owner-managers tell us their businesses are growing," Mr Spollen-Behrens said.
At its annual conference yesterday the SFA launched its small business strategy.
Under the strategy the representative body outlined eight key considerations for Government when designing a strategy for small businesses including a focus on all small business, with no 'right' sector to be in.
In addition, the SFA said that Government strategy should provide coherence, with all policies in respect of small businesses aligned.
"In Ireland, we know what it takes to create real, transformational change, as we have successfully built a world-class environment for multinational companies.
"This know-how must now be harnessed for the benefit of small businesses," Mr Spollen-Behrens added.