Press Releases - 2015

SFA End of Year Statement 2015

31/12/2015 - Small firms set to create 30,000 jobs in 2016, but loss of competitiveness poses the biggest threat. Tax equalisation, public procurement and competition in the banking sector are the small business priorities for General Election 2016. .. Read more


Small Firms warned on Staff Christmas Parties

17/12/2015 - The Small Firms Association has issued practical advice to all small businesses hosting staff Christmas parties. SFA Director, Patricia Callan commented "Staff parties can show our employees some due appreciation at the end of a busy year... .. Read more


Skills and in-work training essential to small firms' growth

15/12/2015 - SFA 2015 Training Survey shows that time and cost remain the biggest barriers to engaging in training. National Skills Strategy 2015-2025 must focus on in-work training and upskilling for a growing economy. .. Read more


Finalists announced in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2016

07/12/2015 - The finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 have been officially announced by AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman and Chair of the Awards Judging Panel. .. Read more


SFA calls for 5 December 2015 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’

16/11/2015 - The Small Firms Association has called for 5 December 2015 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’ and has called on shoppers across the country to support small businesses in their communities. .. Read more


SFA Supports Government's Enterprise 2025 Policy

12/11/2015 - The Small Firms Association has welcomed the launch today of the Government's 10-year whole of enterprise policy, "Enterprise 2025". .. Read more


SFA comment on Department of Finance SME Lending Survey

09/11/2015 - Patricia Callan, SFA Director, has welcomed the more normalised bank lending relationship revealed in the Department of Finance commissioned Red C “SME Credit Demand Survey” report (published this morning). .. Read more


SFA Calls for increased competition in the financial sector

06/11/2015 - Speaking in advance of the SFA Annual Lunch which takes place today, with Central Bank Governor, Patrick Honohan as Guest of Honour, SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan stated “The Central Bank must ensure that Ireland is an attractive place for finance providers to trade and do business. .. .. Read more


SFA Condemns Rail Strike - Mass Disruption and Millions lost

23/10/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) has condemned the rail strike this morning, which caused disruption to over 40,000 passengers and has cost business millions of euro. .. Read more


Small Firms Association welcomes Budget 2016

13/10/2015 - Budget 2016 Good News for Small Businesses. The Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed the announcement of Budget 2016 today. SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan, commented... .. Read more


Budget 2016 must deliver for small businesses

09/10/2015 - With just days remaining until the announcement of Budget 2016, Patricia Callan, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), said “It is critical that Budget 2016 delivers real benefit for small businesses. We welcome the comments made by many Ministers that steps will be taken to stop the discrimination in the tax system... .. Read more


Ibec general election series; Budget 2016 debate

06/10/2015 - Next week the Government will present the last budget of the 31st Dáil. To discuss the choices now facing Ireland, Ibec will bring together a panel of senior politicians to share their post budget analysis and to discuss priorities for the next government as they prepare for the forthcoming general election. .. Read more


SFA announces plan to create jobs

05/10/2015 - SFA announces proposals for job creation and retention. Every Government policy should be “job-proofed”. SFA calls for reform of the CGT Entrepreneurial Relief, the introduction of a childcare tax credit and enhancements to employee share options. .. Read more


SFA Slams Postal Strike

05/10/2015 - Widespread disruption damaging to entire economy. The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan has condemned the on-going closure of the nation’s postal service due to strike action by An Post contractors. He commented: “It is entirely unacceptable for the nation to be held to ransom in this way... .. Read more


€11.50 proposal for Living Wage not viable

30/09/2015 - €11.50 proposal for a Living Wage is not viable for small employers Living Wage debate is a distraction from the real public policy issues that must be addressed Sustainable solutions to housing, childcare, transport and education challenges will make a better standard of living a reality for all .. Read more


SFA comment on Government's capital plan

29/09/2015 - SFA welcomes Government’s capital spending plan Strategic investment required for economy to continue to grow .. Read more


SFA National Employment Law Conference 2015

24/09/2015 - ‘Lack of knowledge’ or ‘being a small company’ is not a defence in employment law cases – the best defence is to be prepared!” Patricia Callan, Director, SFA .. Read more


SFA Jobs Survey 2015 - 64% of small businesses are creating jobs

14/09/2015 - The Small Firms Association Jobs Survey 2015 has found that 64% of small businesses intend to take on additional staff over the coming year. .. Read more


Taoiseach launches SFA National Small Business Awards 2016

09/09/2015 - The SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 have been officially launched today (Wednesday, 9th September) by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, at Government Buildings. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of small business in Ireland, and to recognise the vital contribution of the small business sector to the Irish economy. .. Read more


SFA Budget 2016 priorities for a job-rich recovery

17/08/2015 - Launching the SFA’s pre-Budget 2016 submission today, AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman, said “The SFA has a vision of Ireland as the most vibrant small business community in the world, supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small business and rewarding risk takers. Budget 2016 presents an opportunity to take steps towards making this a reality.” “Budget 2016 comes at a time when Ireland’s economic outlook is relatively positive. For many, the fragility of the crisis years has passed, but the recovery has not been consistent regionally or sectorally. Many small businesses are still waiting to feel the upturn. This Budget is critical to ensuring .. Read more


Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD met with SFA

28/07/2015 - The SFA met with Minister Bruton on 28th July to discuss our ideas for inclusion in the Action Plan for Jobs 2016. Key issues discussed included the importance of the Government not doing anything that would increase the cost of employment (minimum wage, mandatory pensions), ideas to make entrepreneurship attractive and to increase the incentive to work, and ideas to improve the general business .. Read more


SFA meets Minister Richard Bruton on Jobs

28/07/2015 - The SFA Director, Patricia Callan, at a meeting with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, today, set out the small business priorities for increasing jobs. Callan stated: “Government job promises in the Action Plan for Jobs can only be delivered through successful small businesses. We need to improve the .. Read more


SFA slams UNITE calls on Employers' PRSI

23/07/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) has slammed calls by UNITE trade union for the Government to ignore the very real anomalies raised in the Low Pay Commission report in regard to employers' PRSI costs. AJ Noonan, Chairman of the Small Firms Association, said “It is outrageous that UNITE should seek to levy these absurd additional costs on .. Read more


SFA condemns proposed 6% increase in the minimum wage

21/07/2015 - Responding to the publication of the Low Pay Commission report today by the Government, which recommends a 6% increase in the National Minimum Wage, the Small Firms Association (SFA) called on the Government to reject the findings of the Commission and to freeze the National Minimum Wage (NMW) at its current rate for 3 years. Patricia Callan, Director of the Small Firms Association, said “Small businesses truly are .. Read more


SFA calls for tax changes to encourage business growth and job creation at National Economic Dialogue

16/07/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) today (16 July 2015) participated in the opening day of the National Economic Dialogue, ensuring that the voice of small business is heard in the debate on Ireland’s economic future. SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan, said “Tax reform is key to unlocking job creation, investment and growth. The SFA has long advocated reform of the Irish tax system to make it more attractive and rewarding to establish and operate a business in Ireland.” “The first step is to end the discriminatory treatment of proprietary directors and the self-employed in the tax system. At the moment they .. Read more


SFA Comment on Credit Review Office Report

03/07/2015 - The Small Firms Association has welcomed the publication today of the Fifteenth Credit Review Office report. SFA Director, Patricia Callan commented: “It is a strong endorsement of the credit review system that Ulster Bank and PTSB have now voluntarily entered the Credit Review System and have recommitted to the Irish small business market. However it is critically important that we see more new entrants into the small business finance space to ensure there is choice and competition for those firms seeking finance. The new SBCI loan fund should be used to attract new .. Read more


SFA adopts new strategy for 2015-2020

01/07/2015 - On 1 July 2015, the SFA National Council adopted a strategy for the association for the next five years. It sets out not only the objectives for the growth and development of the SFA but also a broader vision for the small business environment in Ireland over the coming years. The strategy was devised in the first half of 2015 with involvement from SFA members and external stakeholders, facilitated by .. Read more


SFA Calls for 1-year Bankruptcy PR

29/06/2015 - SFA Director, Patricia Callan, stated, “Creating a culture of entrepreneurship and risk taking is essential to driving economic growth and job creation. Central to this is an acceptance of failure and the existence of an environment conducive to starting again. In Ireland, however, the social stigma of failure stifles second chance entrepreneurship and the bankruptcy regime remains overly-punitive. The SFA strongly believes that Government policies should encourage entrepreneurs back into business as quickly as possible after bankruptcy.” The SFA has submitted its recommendations .. Read more


SFA Annual Conference - "BOOST", your confidence, your team, your business, your profits

10/06/2015 - Speaking to over 300 delegates at the SFA Annual National Conference, sponsored by RaboDirect this morning (Wednesday, 10 June), the Chairman of the Small Firms Association, Mr AJ Noonan said that a return to ‘a business as usual attitude’ for Government is not an option. “Managing costs, supporting capital investment and engaging in real tax reform, is essential to maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness.” .. Read more


Companies Act Comes into Force - 1 June - SFA PR

01/06/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed the commencement of the Companies Act 2014 today, 1 June 2015. Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated: “The new Companies Act represents a simplification and modernisation of company law in Ireland. It has the potential to reduce red tape and make it easier to operate a business in Ireland, with potential benefits for current and aspiring owner managers and for our economy and society as a whole. The new Act replaces the current .. Read more


SFA Comment on Public Sector Pay Deal

29/05/2015 - Commenting on the public sector pay deal "The Landsdowne Road Agreement" concluded this evening, Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated: “Our public sector numbers and remuneration should be based on what is required to deliver the volume and quality of public services that we require in 2015 and beyond, what the market rate for doing those jobs is currently, and on what the employer (the Government in this case) can afford to pay within its Budget, given that we’re still borrowing €1bn a month. The only way the .. Read more


SFA Opposes Mandatory Pension Provision PR

25/05/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) rejects the idea of a mandatory pension system in Ireland. In its submission to the Department of Social Protection working group charged with creating a roadmap for universal pensions, the SFA has stated that while it recognises the importance of the Government’s ambition to build a sustainable pensions system for the future, it is fundamentally opposed to any move towards a mandatory Universal Retirement Savings System. Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated: “It is clear that that .. Read more


QNHS Q1 Employment Figures - SFA Comment

21/05/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the continuing downward trend in the unemployment figures. The Q1 QNHS figures show a decrease in the unemployment rate to 9.9%. Callan commented “Our 200,000 small businesses in every sector and throughout the country continue to create new jobs, as their businesses have begun to grow again. However for many this growth is fragile and must not be derailed by increasing business costs.” “The key decision in whether a business .. Read more


SFA calls for 3-year freeze to the minimum wage

04/05/2015 - As the Low Pay Commission prepares to deliver its recommendations to the Government over the summer months, the Small Firms Association (SFA) calls for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to be frozen at its current rate for 3 years. AJ Noonan, Chairman of the Small Firms Association, said “Small businesses truly are the engines of our economic recovery. We have a vital role to .. Read more


SFA Chairman condemns strike action by bus drivers

29/04/2015 - The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan, has today (29 April 2015) urged workers in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to call off seven days of strike action scheduled for May, starting this Friday. Mr. AJ Noonan condemned the proposed action, saying that “it is designed to .. Read more


SFA reaction to Govt's Spring Economic Statement

28/04/2015 - The Small Firms Association has welcomed the Government’s Spring Economic Statement, which forecasts GDP growth of 4% this year, which will give the Government an additional €1.2 - €1.5bn in Budget 2016 to further embed the economic recovery. SFA Director, Patricia Callan, commented: “The Government should use this .. Read more


SFA seeks commitment from Govt on Self-Employed in Spring Economic Statement

27/04/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan, has called on the Government to commit to and outline in more detail its mooted proposals to end the discriminatory tax and social welfare treatment of the self-employed and Proprietary Directors in its Spring Economic Statement (which will be announced this Tuesday, 28th April). “There is a real need to support people in embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, as without the risk-taker / the owner-manager, no jobs can be created. Therefore it is important that they are at least treated equally if not indeed more preferentially than employees”, commented Mr Patricia Callan. Specifically, the SFA is advocating the introduction of its .. Read more


SFA Comment on March CPI Figures

09/04/2015 - The Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released today by the CSO show a decline of 0.6% in the year to March. The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan commented: “despite the significant increase in business activity levels this year, many businesses are struggling to achieve price increases in the marketplace. Price competition .. Read more


SFA supports Prompt Payment Code of Conduct

03/04/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), Patricia Callan, has welcomed the launch today of the Prompt Payments Code portal, by Minister for Business & Employment, Ged Nash, TD. "The SFA has been working on this project over the past number of years, and is signing up to the Code itself and encouraging all our members, and the broader business community, public & semi-state organisations to do likewise." "Late payments in Ireland .. Read more


Live Register Figures - SFA Comment

01/04/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the continuing downward trend in the live register figures, which were released today and showed that the unemployment rate is now 10%. She stated that “small businesses will continue to create new jobs throughout 2015, so long as it makes financial sense for them to do so. A 9% unemployment rate is entirely achievable by end 2015”. Callan commented .. Read more


TTIP will benefit small firms

27/03/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the publication this morning by Minister Richard Bruton, TD of the Copenhagen Economics “TTIP Impact in Ireland” report, which shows that SMEs are likely to see a more positive impact than larger firms, as reducing the fixed costs of selling make it easier for them to export into the US. Callan commented .. Read more


SFA meets Public Accounts Committee on Public Procurement

05/03/2015 - A delegation from the Small Firms Association (SFA) met with the Public Accounts Committee this morning (Thursday, 5th March 2015) to discuss issues around public procurement. SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan commented: “It is essential that the procurement system is subjected to scrutiny by PAC to ensure that it is achieving real value for money, and that contracts are awarded with a whole economy perspective in mind, in particular an assessment of the impact of lost jobs in micro enterprises in all towns and villages around the country, who have lost contracts under the new system. The system should be .. Read more


“Clevamama” wins Overall SFA National Small Business Award 2015

04/03/2015 - Clevamama has won the Overall SFA National Small Business Award 2015. Winners were selected from over 500 applications received for the 2015 programme. Based in Swords in North County Dublin and employing 12 people, Clevamama was established by working mums and sisters, Martina Craine and Suzanne Browne. Their products are designed by mums for mums and their aim is to produce innovative products to make parents lives that bit easier. The seven category winners were .. Read more


SFA Submission on Low Pay to Joint Oireachtas Committee

03/03/2015 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) in its Presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation at 2.45pm in Leinster House today will make the case for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate to be frozen at its current rate for 3 years. Patricia Callan, Director of the Small Firms Association said that “Small businesses truly are the engines of our economic recovery. We have a vital role to play in terms of employment generation, especially in regional towns and villages and rural Ireland. Increasing business labour costs without productivity gains, will not only dampen this recovery, but will ultimately lead to both the prevention of job growth and to job losses across the sector.” .. Read more


Absence costs small business over €490 million per annum

17/02/2015 - The Small Firms Association has today published its Absenteeism Report 2014, which shows that absenteeism is costing small businesses over €490 million per annum. However, the report does indicate a lower level of absenteeism in smaller business when compared to their counterparts in larger enterprises. The study conducted in 2014 took place throughout Ireland and covered all sectors of Irish business. Commenting on the findings, Alan Sherlock, SFA Executive, said .. Read more


SFA Chair voices support for government campaign

17/02/2015 - The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan, has today voiced his support of the launch of a campaign of information from the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation. This campaign aims to inform small businesses on the Government supports available, online at actionplanforjobs.ie. Mr Noonan said .. Read more


SFA National Small Business Showcase, meet 38 of the best Irish small firms

05/02/2015 - Finalists from the Small Firms Association National Small Business Awards will gather at the Printworks Conference Centre, Dublin Castle from 2.30pm to 7pm on Thursday 5 February to showcase their businesses. The event highlights the innovation, creativity, drive and passion that exist in the small business sector and is the last opportunity for the 38 award finalists to impress the judges ahead of the gala prize giving ceremony in March .. Read more


SFA Comment on January Live Register Figures

04/02/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the continuing downward trend in the live register figures, which were released today and showed a reduction of 0.1% to 10.5%. “Our 200,000 small businesses in every sector and throughout the country continue to create new jobs, as their businesses have begun to grow again. However for many this growth is fragile and must not be derailed by increasing business costs.” “The key decision in whether a .. Read more


SFA Comment on Action Plan for Jobs 2015

29/01/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the publication of the Action Plan for Jobs by the Government this morning, which “contains many measures and proposals submitted by us, on behalf of our members, to enhance the small business environment, and make it easier to do business”. In particular, she welcomed the forthcoming awareness campaign on the supports .. Read more


SFA Calls for End to Discrimination of Self-Employed

20/01/2015 - The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan, has today launched its campaign to have the Government end discrimination against self-employed and Proprietary Directors in the tax and social welfare systems in 2015. “There is a real need to support people in embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, as without the risk-taker / the owner-manager, no jobs can be created. Therefore it is important that they are at least treated equally if not indeed more preferentially than employees”, commented Mr AJ Noonan. Specifically, the SFA is advocating the introduction of its 3-Point Plan by Government .. Read more


SFA Comment on CPI Figures

15/01/2015 - The Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released today by the CSO show a decline of 0.3% in overall prices in December and an annual average rate of inflation in 2014 of just 0.2%. The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan commented: “despite the significant increase in business activity levels this year, many businesses are struggling to achieve price increases in the marketplace. Price... .. Read more


SFA Comment on Live Register Figures

07/01/2015 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan has welcomed the continuing downward trend in the live register figures, which were released today and showed a reduction of 1% to 10.6%. However she stated that “it is imperative that the Government delivers a comprehensive Action Plan for Jobs 2015 later this month. As a general principle, we believe that every single policy emanating from Government should be centrally “job-proofed”, as many different Government Departments have a .. Read more


Small Firms Outlook 2015

05/01/2015 - The Small Firms Association has published its “Small Firms Outlook for 2015” survey report, which shows that 66% of businesses are growing, 28% are maintaining their business at stable levels, and just 6% state that they are still seeing a decline in business. 867 members responded to the survey out of a sample of 2500 SFA member companies. SFA Director, Patricia Callan, welcomed the .. Read more



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