Action Plan for Jobs 2017 - Small firms poised to create 20,000 jobs

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

For immediate use: Wednesday, 1 February 2017
    • Small firms poised to create 20,000 jobs in 2017
    • Practical Brexit supports must be implemented urgently
    • ‘Think Small First’ approach welcome – must include thorough impact assessment

The Small Firms Association welcomes the Action Plan for Jobs 2017, launched today, 1 February, by An Taoiseach and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated: "The Action Plan for Jobs process has been a huge support to businesses maintaining and creating jobs over the past five years. Small businesses employ half the private sector workforce, some 800,000 people, and through the Action Plan for Jobs many of the barriers to their expansion have been tackled. 64% of SFA member companies plan to take on additional staff in 2017 and, with the new measures outlined in the Action Plan for Jobs 2017, we estimate that small businesses will create over 20,000 new jobs. These jobs will be in a wide variety of sectors, giving a boost to villages, towns and cities across Ireland."

"Brexit poses a significant threat to small businesses, both exporters and those trading in the domestic market, and the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 places a much-needed focus on specific measures to support companies at this challenging time. The SFA welcomes the inclusion of an Export Finance Initiative and the expansion of the successful Trading Online Voucher Scheme, both of which we called for from Government," continued Callan.

"Our members look forward to seeing the ‘Think Small First’ principle applied across Government. The detail of the SME-test is crucial. All new proposed legislation should be subjected to thorough regulatory impact assessment on the costs to business, including Private Members Bills. Other actions that are particularly welcome to the small business community include the Retail Support Programme, Workplace Innovation Employer Toolkit and measures to support entrepreneurship and female participation in the labour market."

Callan concluded: "The all-of-government approach has been key to the success of the Action Plan for Jobs process to date and renewed commitment across government is needed to achieve the 164 actions contained in the Action Plan for Jobs 2017. Small businesses are ready to innovate, scale and create jobs around the country, if the right business environment exists."


For further comment or interview, contact Patricia Callan, SFA Director, on tel: 087 6999345 or email:

Issued by Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, tel: 01 6051626 / 087 1472811, email:

Editor’s note

The SFA is the trusted partner of over 8,500 small businesses in Ireland. Its vision is of Ireland as the most vibrant small business community in the world – supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small business and rewarding risk takers.

More information about the SFA is available on the SFA website: or Twitter: @SFA_Irl