Small firms on target to create more jobs in 2020

Two-thirds of Irish small businesses plan to recruit in 2020. That’s the positive message from Small Firms Association chair Graham Byrne.

In his end-of-year statement for 2019, Byrne revealed that some 75,000 jobs were created by small firms between 2015 and 2019.

Following the UK elections and with Brexit firmly back on the agenda, the future is by no means certain but having a strong domestic economy could give Ireland a fighting chance.

“In the past five years small businesses have created 75,000 jobs and two thirds of SFA member companies plan to take on additional staff next year in a wide variety of sectors, in villages, towns and cities across the country”

Crucially, Byrne implored the Irish Government to deliver on its strategy for SMEs and entrepreneurs.

“Domestic economic growth in 2019 is likely to be close to 5.9pc and our members see this as the biggest opportunity for their business in the coming year, despite the external backdrop.

“In the past five years small businesses have created 75,000 jobs and two thirds of SFA member companies plan to take on additional staff next year in a wide variety of sectors, in villages, towns and cities across the country.

“For this job growth to be realised, concrete steps must be taken in 2020. The SFA is calling for the immediate launch of the agreed new national SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy, which was promised by government before the end of 2019.”

Step-up in financial skills needed

Byrne said he expects this strategy to focus on productivity and innovation, the introduction of a comprehensive tax policy conducive to small firms.

He also called for a step-up in financial skills and supporting the forgotten group of businesses that employ between 10 and 50 employees and that are the back-bone of the Irish economy.

“With a General Election on the horizon, the SFA will be calling on the new Government – whatever its composition – to embrace the SFA vision of Ireland as the most vibrant small business community in the world, supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small business and rewarding risk takers.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 2 January, 2020