Small business owners overwhelmingly expect rising costs to reduce or severely reduce profits this year but most are confident their business will survive the inflation squeeze.
Almost half (45pc) of businesses plan to increase their staff numbers this year, according to the same survey in April by Enterprise Nation, a small businesses network for sole traders and businesses with typically fewer than 10 staff.
Around 6pc of the business surveyed were in Ireland. Of them almost one third (30pc) said they weren’t sure if their business will survive.
The survey findings suggest little difference in business sentiment between the UK and Ireland, although inflation in Britain is running ahead even of the record levels experienced here this year.
However, despite the impact of the Ukraine war, higher energy bills and the cost-of-living increases, two thirds of small businesses rated their business outlook positive.
The survey also found two thirds (64pc) of Irish business owners surveyed felt ‘quite confident’ or ‘very confident’ their business would survive in 2022.
Almost seven in 10 (68pc) were confident that their businesses would grow in the next quarter of 2022. Fewer than one in 10 expect their business to shrink.
Jane Byrne, founder of Studio Dancewear in Carlow, said rising energy bills are the biggest current challenge.
“You just don’t know where it’s going to go and you don’t know how far it is going to go. I would like to see better government supports for niche businesses starting out, with a better understanding of sole traders building a business from home, particularly if that business is not positioned to export,” she said.