Tuesday 24 April 2018

SME satisfaction with Government remains negative

Isme chief executive Neil McDonnell. Photo: ISME
Isme chief executive Neil McDonnell. Photo: ISME
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Small and medium enterprises (SME’s) overall satisfaction with the Government has risen in the three months to 30 June, the second overall improvement this year.

However, it continues to be in negative territory, declining to -7pc from -9pc in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest survey from ISME, the independent representative association for SMEs.

Micro and small sized enterprises are least satisfied with the government at -13pc and -10pc respectively.

Factors behind the negative sentiment include business costs for SMEs, along with Government's handling of the banking situation.

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Commenting on the results, ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said that while the improvement in the Government rating was marginal, it was "a step in the right direction."

"Budget 2018 is an opportunity for Government to address this dissatisfaction among SMEs. If the SME sector is to act as a catalyst for job growth and prosperity, it must be backed by positive Government policies," Mr McDonnell said.

The survey, which had 536 SME respondents from around the country, found that medium sized enterprise are most satisfied with government at +19pc, a decrease from +21pc in the first three months of 2017.

Business cost continues to be the biggest issue for SMEs.

Excessive business costs continue to have a major impact on businesses, something that was reflected in ISME’s pre-budget submission to the Minister for Finance, the organisation said.

The Association went on to say that it is concerned that in light of the Brexit result and continued labour pressures, Ireland’s competitiveness will erode.

"We reiterate our call for the Government to conduct an international benchmarking of business costs, and to bring them into line with our main export competitors," ISME said.

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