Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said a dual approach from government and banking sector is needed to support small and medium businesses in the face of inflation and the cost of doing business crisis.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Research from Wise Business, a global fintech group, has found that 70 per cent of small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Ireland fear they may have to close in 2023 due to rising costs.
“The survey of 250 businesses relays a worrying outlook among firms on the ground.
“The research uncovered that over two thirds of SMEs believe there is a possibility they will close within the next year, while just one in three think their business will be okay.
“The current difficulties being experienced by Irish businesses, especially SMEs and family businesses, are significant, and they are many.
“Costs have risen across the board for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to the increase in energy prices and the all-encompassing effect of inflation. On top of this other increased costs have been thrown the way of businesses in the shape of proposed toll rises, increased insurance premiums, and fuel price hikes.
“Businesses have tried to remain agile and adapt to these changes through absorbing increased costs to remain competitive. Naturally, this has an impact on SMEs and family businesses margins in the immediate term, but in the long run this may prove to be unsustainable to businesses’ bottom lines.
“Many of the businesses surveyed by Wise Business criticised poor banking solutions and called for greater competition in the banking sector.
“Several problems highlighted by businesses as causing them concern and hindering their operations were directed by the banking sector.
“The government must also engage with SMEs during this volatile time for businesses.
“While supports such as the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) are welcome, the scheme has still not gone live, and businesses are suffering as a result.
“Now more than ever SMEs need a dual approach from government and the banking sector if they are to overcome the current cost of doing business crisis.”