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Tag Archives: Small Firms Association

Shop local on Small Business Saturday

The Small Firms Association has called for December 3 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’, with shoppers across the country asked to support small businesses in their communities. SFA assistant director, Linda Barry, stated, “Retail sales are expected to exceed €4 billion in December, but much of this will be spent in large stores or online. The latest figures show that the value of online purchases increased by 20% in the last quarter to €1.2 billion. If each adult spent just €20 extra in small businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €70 million for small Irish firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.” “The first Saturday of December is traditionally a busy shopping day and consumers should use this weekend as an opportunity to focus on buying Irish and supporting their local businesses, as the Christmas celebrations can add a major economic impetus to …

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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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Small businesses doing well

A new report shows that 66% of small businesses are growing, while 28% are maintaining stability, and just 6% are still seeing a decline. The detailed in the Small Firms Association’s Small Firms Outlook for 2015 survey report, based on 867 respondends out of a sample of 2500 member companies. SFA director, Patricia Callan, in welcoming the results, said, “We predict that 2015 will see strong growth remain in the economy in the order of 4-5% GDP growth. 2014 saw the initial green shoots from the cities, spread gradually throughout all regions and towns throughout the country. Broad-based regional economic growth must be a priority focus in 2015.” The survey respondents predict strong investment levels in their businesses in 2015 with 72% saying that they will invest in their business in the next 12-24 months, 20% are unsure, and just 8% do not plan further investment at present. Investment in brand development is the priority for 41% of respondents, with …

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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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