SMEs marginally more satisfied with Government, survey shows

Isme survey shows business costs remains the key concern

Irish firms gave the Government a positive satisfaction rating for the first time since the crash, according to a survey by Isme, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association.

SMEs reported increased satisfaction in the area of jobs during the first quarter of this year, while registering less dissatisfaction with banking and business costs.

Isme, however, warned that improvements in the economy could soon be negated if Ireland’s competitiveness levels continued to decrease.

The Government scored best in the area of employment and its various jobs-related initiatives, reflecting the steady decline in numbers on the live register.


While dissatisfaction with access to finance, a long-standing issue in the sector, declined marginally, perhaps reflecting the recent establishment of the new State-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), the decline was only marginal.

The issue of high business costs remained the key concern for Isme members, the association said.

“The association is concerned that Ireland is rapidly losing its competitive edge and has called on Government to conduct a review of all business costs to bring them into line with our main export competitors,” it added.

Chief executive Mark Fielding said: "The overall increase in government satisfaction amongst SMEs will surely be welcomed by the current administration as they gear up for the forthcoming election.

“However, there is no room for complacency and they must not ignore the levels of dissatisfaction relating to business costs and banking. Improving competitiveness levels must be the main concern of government as Ireland strives towards an export-led recovery,” he added.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times