Saturday 24 February 2018

Confidence on the rise in small-business sector

Anne-Marie Walsh

Confidence among small businesses is rising despite access to finance being a major challenge, it emerged yesterday.

The Small Firms Association (SFA) said its autumn survey showed sentiment increased over the last 12 months.

Bosses at a third of companies rated their own business as very good or good, while another third deemed it poor or very poor, a 20pc drop on last year.

SFA director Avine McNally revealed a fifth also indicated they were more confident about their own business, 3pc up on this time last year.

"While the figures show sentiment improving for small firms, they still face many challenges -- Government need to assist by providing clarity about budgetary impacts," she added.

A total of 636 companies employing 13,750 people nationwide responded to the survey in the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services sectors.

It revealed half of respondents rated the overall business environment as poor or very poor, a 17pc drop from last year.

But almost three in 10 companies -- 29pc -- expect their business to be very good or good over the next three months.

Irish Independent

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