Over 50% of firms waiting more than three months to get paid

Cash flow and costs the issues currently worrying business, says InterTradeIreland

Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland: “It is a worrying trend that companies, especially small- to medium-sized enterprises are having to wait so long to be paid.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland: “It is a worrying trend that companies, especially small- to medium-sized enterprises are having to wait so long to be paid.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Mon, May 20, 2013, 01:00

Over half of Irish business is waiting more than three months to get paid money from at least some of their customers, according to a new survey.

In general, businesses are waiting longer to get paid in Ireland, according to the InterTradeIreland Business Monitor , which shows cash flow is currently one of the biggest problems for firms North and South.

Only 4 per cent of Irish businesses have terms that allow 90 days’ credit.

InterTradeIreland spoke to more than 1,000 SMEs across the island to compile the Business Monitor . Nearly half (47 per cent) of all the businesses contacted said they were “contracting, fighting for survival or winding up” with the construction, retail and small firms sectors feeling the pressure most.

Less than a fifth (19 per cent) reported an increase in sales during quarter one while 39 per cent reported a decrease. Only 4 per cent of businesses reported an increase in employment numbers.

Aidan Gough, strategy and policy director at the business development body, said: “It is a worrying trend that companies, especially small- to medium-sized enterprises are having to wait so long to be paid.”