Two thirds of small businesses plan to boost employee numbers and wages
More than two thirds of small firms plan to take on employees and increase wages over the next 12 months.
This comes as the country reaches full employment, and businesses face increasing difficulties in attracting and retaining staff.
However, the mood among the small business community has slumped, according to the latest Small Business Sentiment Survey from the Small Firms Association (SFA).
The SFA survey is based on responses by member companies, each of which has less than 50 employees. Only 45pc of the lobby group's members believe the business environment is improving, compared with 59pc in November 2018.
With Britain due to leave the European Union in October, the increasing risk posed by Brexit is seen as the biggest threat to companies.
This is followed by the danger of economic stagnation in the Irish market.
Wage inflation was cited as the third-biggest risk to small businesses.
Sven Spollen-Behrens, director of the association, called for a plan to boost the performance of small businesses.