SFA Annual Lunch
13th November 2017
Last week, the SFA (Small Firms Association) hosted their Annual Lunch in the Mansion House in Dublin. Addressing small businesses and stakeholders at the Lunch, which was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, SFA Chair Sue O’Neill stated: “Six out of ten SFA member companies are growing, three quarters of us will invest in our businesses in the coming year and an incredible 71% will take on additional staff. Small businesses are employment creators and drivers of economic success; but efforts are still needed to develop a culture that recognises and supports all small business in Ireland.
“In the latest SFA Small Business Survey, 62% told us that they feel the business environment is improving. Our survey respondents ranked domestic economic growth as the biggest opportunity for their business in the coming year. This economic growth doesn’t, however, mean that we can become complacent. We face major challenges, including a loss of competitiveness, rapid growth in wage expectations and skills shortages.
“Ireland urgently needs a coherent strategy to support Irish small business. In 1958 Government focused its efforts on a strategy to bring foreign direct investment to Ireland. Clearly, this proved very successful and is still evolving. Similarly now we need a long-term strategic vision for small business that all of us, including the whole of government, businesses and communities, can get behind,” O’Neill concluded.
(Pictured: (L-R): Brent Pope, guest speaker, Michael Lauhoff, Director of Business Banking, Bank of Ireland, Sue O’Neill, Chair, Small Firms Association and Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director, Small Firms Association. © Gary O’ Neill)