More SMEs to celebrate Christmas this year

Change may indicate tide turning for small business

Christmas parties are back in fashion according to a new business barometer.

Christmas parties are back in fashion according to a new business barometer.

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 12:21

Colm Keena

Public Affairs Correspondent

The number of small firms who plan to hold staff Christmas parties this year has risen significantly in comparison to 2012, according to the latest business barometer.

The quarterly survey revealed that 46 per cent of Irish SME owners will host a festive party for staff this year, an increase of 10 per cent on this time last year.

The Business Barometer, an opinion poll of SME owners across the UK and Ireland, also found that 16 per cent of Irish firms are benefiting from current trading conditions, a rise of over 6 per cent on the previous quarter, suggesting that business confidence is improving.

“Christmas parties have fallen victim to the recession over the last few years and this noticeable increase is a positive sign that business confidence is picking up,” said Close Brothers Commercial Finance (Ireland) managing director, Harry Parkinson.

“For many bosses, the annual Christmas party is significant as it is a chance to build relationships with staff and reward them for their hard work and loyalty throughout the year.”

Over recent years many employers cut back on the party as part of their efforts to cut cost. As staff morale can make a real difference to a company’s bottom line, he said, it was great to see so many employers intending to treat their staff with a festive party this year.

He also said the development was a potential indication that the tide may be turning for Irish SMEs.