SME bosses expect to see businesses grow next year
Small- and medium-sized business bosses expect their businesses to grow next year, a new survey shows.
Some 60pc of business owners said that they expected their level of business to increase in 2014, according to research by office supplier Viking.
However, around the same proportion view the more immediate picture as less rosy, with more than 58pc saying that the current business situation is stagnant or worse in this quarter than in the third quarter of this year.
Budget 2014 appears to have found favour with businesses, with 75pc of owners approving of its contents. Based on Budget measures, 50pc of those surveyed said that they expected increased investment in training and technology and a quarter said they saw their business expanding as a direct result of the Budget.
However, there was less enthusiasm about the increase in DIRT tax, with 70pc of businesses expressing concern about the hike.
A huge number of small business owners used their own personal savings as part of the initial investment to start their business.
"Our survey confirms that it's still a very tough environment for SMEs but it's good to see that most are optimistic for 2014," said Michael Walby, director of Viking in Ireland.
"It's also interesting to note that over 70pc of those surveyed feared that the increase in DIRT tax applied to savings interest may deter others from starting up a business in the future -- the Government should take note of this. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and their concerns should be listened to."
Christmas overtime will keep many from enjoying quality time with friends and family over Christmas, with 66pc saying they expect to be putting in overtime to meet end-of-year targets.