Survey shows fewer issues for small firms

One in five businesses plans new borrowings in 2016

Political change is still seen as the biggest threat to continued business growth, with 68 per cent citing it as a concern. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times

Political change is still seen as the biggest threat to continued business growth, with 68 per cent citing it as a concern. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times

 

Small businesses are having fewer issues with access to finance or staff with key skills than last year, according to a new survey. One in five businesses plans new borrowings in 2016 compared to one in eight this time last year, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers SME Pulse Survey, published today.

Political change is still seen as the biggest threat to continued business growth, with 68 per cent citing it as a concern. Another risk high on the agenda is cybercrime.

Overall, a more benign business climate is encouraging more investment and delivery of new products and services. A third of respondents are seeking growth in new or existing foreign markets.

“Over-regulation” and the tax burden also figure less prominently than at this time last year as issues holding back growth.

According to the survey compilers, the vast majority of respondents say doing business in Ireland is now easier or the same compared to three years ago.

“The survey is good news for the Irish SME sector,” says PwC partner John Dunne. “However, as a small open economy heavily dependent on foreign markets, there is no time for complacency.”

The survey drew on 62 employers, each with fewer than 250 staff.