SMEs call for reduced business costs

SMEs call for reduced business costs

A reduction of business costs is the most common requirement among Irish SMEs for the next Government, a survey has found.

According to the second annual Regional Business Barometer Study, commissioned by telecoms and cloud services provider Magnet, reducing costs was cited by 21 per cent of respondents.

The survey also revealed a lack of awareness among small businesses of grants available to them.

Only 11 per cent are aware of government technology/business grants. This is highest among those with 21-50 employees, and also for SMEs in the manufacturing sector and the technology sector.

According to the study, three in four businesses in Ireland have a positive outlook for the next 12 months reflecting greater confidence in economic recovery.

It found that some 74 per cent of businesses are fairly or very positive about their prospects this year, a significant increase in optimism from 61 per cent in 2015.

SME decision makers are also much more positive than the general public.

The research was carried out among 540 businesses across eight regional authority areas in January 2016.

The research encompassed a broad range of enterprises in the survey ranging, from micro businesses with 1-9 people employed right up to businesses with 250 people or more.

CEO of Magnet Mark Kellett, said: “The positive outlook is welcome but what is particularly striking is the high amount of businesses that plan to open new premises in 2016. Opening new premises involves a real commitment to continue growing your business which is a healthy indicator for the wider economy.

“As you would expect, there are ongoing issues and challenges also worth noting as an election looms. Most decision makers still believe the Government could do more to assist SMEs, in particular to help reduce the costs of running a business.”