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Tag Archives: AJ Noonan

Small firms undervalued in Ireland

Small business often does not get the recognition it deserves because its contribution is based on thousands of smaller investments and jobs created every year rather than once-off ‘big bangs’. That’s according to AJ Noonan, chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA). Much of Government policy is based on backing winners and attracting foreign multi-nationals, rather than creating an environment for more and more indigenous businesses to establish, create jobs, survive and succeed, he maintained at the launch of the “Vision for Small Business in Ireland” report. Mr Noonan challenged every citizen to do their part in making “Ireland – the most vibrant small business community in the world – supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small business and rewarding risk takers.” The SFA chairman released the findings of the SFA’s Summer Business Sentiment Survey, which shows that 60% of small businesses stated that their business is growing. Two-thirds deem the business environment to be improving generally, with 30% staying the same and …

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SFA sets out priorities to minister

A Small Firms Association (SFA) delegation has met with Minister for Business & Employment, Gerald Nash to set out their priorities. “The small business sector currently employs half the private sector workforce, some 700,000 people. Whilst an economic recovery is starting to take hold, many small businesses are just getting back on their feet, and their balance sheets remain challenged after after years of recession,” SFA chairman, AJ Noonan said. “In order to secure the recovery and set small businesses on a path to growth, it is essential that competitiveness issues are prioritised in Government,” he added. Irish labour costs are now 30.8% more than in the UK, 16% more than the EU average and 11th highest in Europe. “This is putting us at a distinct competitive disadvantage, and is a particular problem for SMEs in the services sector where the cost of employing an individual accounts for over 80% of location sensitive business costs ( costs which vary by …

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SFA says investment key to future

The key to Ireland’s future success is enhancing equity finance and investment in  small firms to encourage future growth. That’s according to The Small Firms Association chairman, AJ Noonan. Speaking on this Monday, he said, “Irish small firms rely heavily on banks as a source of external finance which makes them vulnerable to changes in the banking sector. As banks  comply with more regulations, lending to SMEs will remain restrictive compared to the pre-crisis period. This is a problem and therefore, a greater diversity of funding options are necessary to ensure a constant flow of finance. The SFA chairman highlighted the fact that equity finance is not widely used by  Irish small firms. The European Central Bank’s latest SAFE survey shows only 8% of the SMEs used equity finance as a source of funding. “Currently in Ireland the demand for equity finance is low, as there is no  culture or tradition of using equity finance. Also small firms fear that they will lose control …

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Concern for small firm sector

On a day when it was announced that there is to be a 100-job expansion at WIPRO in Shannon, concern has been expressed for the small firms sector in general. In fact, a leading figure involved in supporting  small enterprises, has said radical changes in a number of key areas, such as finance, taxation and public procurement are needed too increase employment in the small business sector. Speaking at the Small Firms Association National Conference this Tuesday, the chairman, AJ Noonan said, “Despite the horrendous impact in the years since 2008, there are still 200,000 small firms in Ireland, employing 655,000 people. In 2000, the small business sector created 100,000 jobs. In fact, over a 10 year period we created 800,000 jobs. We have done it before and we can do it again. “Entrepreneurship is alive and well, but must be nurtured and developed with a renewed focus from both agencies and government.” Noonan highlighted that the SFA’s Spring Business …

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