Research Reveals 2 in 3 SMEs have a Positive Outlook for 2022

13th September 2021

Posted In: The Topic

New research from Three Ireland reveals that despite the significant impact of Covid-19 on business in Ireland, 2 in 3 small companies have a positive outlook for 2022. The research carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes reveals, 83% of respondents claimed Covid-19 had an impact on their business with 68% saying that Covid-19 has changed the way their business operates. The survey of 129 companies was carried out to coincide with the launch of Three’s Grants for Small Businesses programme.

The programme will be managed by the small business network and support provider, Enterprise Nation, who have recently launched in Ireland. The new programme will seek to fund 10 small businesses and award them a portion of the €100,000 bursary – which will be made up of cash, plus advice, support and connectivity solutions from Three Ireland’s expert business advisers.

Applications for cash grants will be open to all businesses that are based in the Republic of Ireland, have a workforce of 1-9 employees and have been trading for a minimum of 6 months. Applications will be scored and the 20 applicants who secure the highest score will be shortlisted for the judging panels.

The 20 shortlisted applicants will be notified of their progression to the final round and invited to do a virtual pitch to detail how the grant will help the business, and what the positive impact on their community would be. Judges include Padraig Sheerin, Head of SME at Three Ireland, Emma Jones, CEO of Enterprise Nation, Siobhan Finn, National Hub Network Manager at NACEC and Michael O’Dea, Senior Development Advisor for High Potential Start-Ups at Enterprise Ireland. Grants will be allocated to businesses in all four provinces and winners will be announced at the beginning of November 2021.

Padraig Sheerin, Head of SME, Three Ireland said: “It is very encouraging to see that so many small businesses have a positive outlook for 2022, but the impact of Covid-19 on them cannot be overlooked. Three Business is delighted to be partnering with Enterprise Nation to assist small businesses in their recovery post-pandemic. In addition to the grant money, the winners will also receive advice and business solutions from Three to meet their company’s needs, and we look forward to working with these businesses in the next stage of their journey.”

The research also revealed that almost half of companies expect hybrid working to be the new norm, and 1 in 3 expecting their business to remain remote during 2022.

The surveyed companies are also stating their main priority for 2022 is to grow or maintain current levels of business activity. Respondents also identified marketing/advertising (33%), technology/connectivity (20%) and machinery/equipment (19%) as the main areas for investment in their companies.