Four companies went out of business every day last year, and the year ahead will not be much better, according to a major insolvency practitioner.
More than 1,400 Irish companies were declared insolvent in 2009, an 82pc increase on the previous year, and up 287pc on 2007, according to InsolvencyJournal.ie.
The data showed that the worst-hit businesses were the construction, services and retail sectors where some familiar names including Smart Telecom, Chartbusters and O'Brien's Sandwich Bars ended up in examinership.
The services and hospitalities sectors suffered more than 400 insolvencies. And in manufacturing, 123 companies failed, while 58 businesses in the motor trade went bust.
Car dealers opening their doors today after the Christmas break will be hoping for a significant increase in enquiries since the announcement of the scrappage scheme if more job losses and business closures are to be avoided.
The fate of thousands of jobs and dozens of dealerships now rests on how buyers react to the incentive to cash in, according to industry sources.
InsolvencyJournal.ie's Ken Fennell said the number of insolvencies in 2009 was in line with its original predictions.