Investment in small firms increasing despite Brexit concerns

Thursday, 8 June 2017

    • Investment in small firms increasing; 72% intend to invest in their business over the coming year despite Brexit concerns
    • Warning that growth ambitions may be dampened by reluctance to access available credit
    The Small Firms Association (SFA) today released new data on the finance and investment priorities of small firms.

    Launching the new data, SFA Chair, Sue O’Neill, stated: “It is very positive to see that 51% of SFA members are growing and 72% intend to invest in their business over the coming year. This is up from 65% six months ago, demonstrating a clear sign of growing confidence in the small business sector and that firms are now realising the importance of Brexit-proofing their business. Priorities for investment include brand development (21%), staff (19%)  IT (18%),and market diversification (11%).

    “It is striking to note that the intention to invest is not accompanied by widespread plans by small firms to access available credit, with only 7.9% of those surveyed saying that their current financing priority was new borrowing. Our survey results indicate that businesses are restricting their growth ambitions to what they can finance from retained earnings or personal savings which is a cause for some concern.

    “The sources of finance available to businesses have never been so diverse. There is a product out there to suit almost every business– the challenge now for small firms is to understand the different finance options available to them and identify the right mix of bank and non-bank finance for their individual business.”

    After investment, paying down debts emerged as the top financial priority for SFA members at 25%, rising to 30% in the wholesale, retail and distribution sector. 21% said that they are currently focused on saving.


    Media contact: Rosalind Travers, 0871001039 / OR Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair, on 087 9013311

    Editor’s note

    The SFA’s Summer Business Sentiment Survey was conducted in May 2017, with 742 companies responding from a sample of 2,500.

    The SFA is the trusted partner of over 8,500 small businesses (less than 50 employees) 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.