Ireland is a high cost location for small firms

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

  • Ireland is a high cost location for small firms: labour costs, insurance, Local Authority rates
  • Government must be obsessive about cost competitiveness in context of Brexit

Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, stated: “Ireland is a high cost location for entrepreneurs and established businesses. Many SFA members operate in low margin environments, making it difficult for them to absorb cost increases. Meanwhile, low inflation and customers’ demand for value make it impossible for many businesses to pass cost increases on.

“Our members have identified labour costs as the number one risk to their businesses over the coming year. The other costs causing greatest concern are insurance costs, which are still rising for many businesses, and Local Authority rates.

“The Government has access to detailed data and expert analysis on all of these costs, in particular from the National Competitive Council. The SFA is calling on Government to create a stronger link between this information and policy decisions, to ensure that Government is not adding to cost pressures on small businesses.


For further queries and interviews, please contact Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, on or 01 6051626 / 087 1472811.


A full copy of the SFA’s ‘Cost of Doing Business’ submission is available here.

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.

98% of all businesses in Ireland are small firms (less than 50 employees) and one in every two people working in the private sector is employed by a small business. They account for one third of the value of the Irish economy and of business investment. Small firms are also key to the vibrancy of our regions, as they represent more than half of total employment in 21 counties.

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