SFA Annual Lunch 2017 - Small business strategy needed for the sector

Friday, 10 November 2017

    • 400 members of the small business community celebrate Irish entrepreneurship at the SFA Annual Lunch
    • Over 70% of SFA members plan to take on additional staff in next 12 months
    • SFA Chair calls for a Small Business Strategy with a comprehensive vision for the sector

Addressing small businesses and stakeholders at the SFA Annual Lunch sponsored by Bank of Ireland, SFA Chair, Sue O’Neill today (10 November) stated: “Six out of ten SFA member companies are growing, three quarters of us will invest in our businesses in the coming year and an incredible 71% will take on additional staff. Small businesses are employment creators and drivers of economic success; but efforts are still needed to develop a culture that recognises and supports all small business in Ireland.

“In the latest SFA Small Business Survey, 62% told us that they feel the business environment is improving. Our survey respondents ranked domestic economic growth as the biggest opportunity for their business in the coming year. This economic growth doesn’t, however, mean that we can become complacent. We face major challenges, including a loss of competitiveness, rapid growth in wage expectations and skills shortages.

“Ireland urgently needs a coherent strategy to support Irish small business. In 1958 Government focused its efforts on a strategy to bring foreign direct investment to Ireland. Clearly, this proved very successful and is still evolving. Similarly now we need a long-term strategic vision for small business that all of us, including the whole of government, businesses and communities, can get behind,” O’Neill concluded.


For queries or to arrange an interview, contact Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, on 087 1472811 or linda.barry@sfa.ie

Editor’s notes

Sue O'Neill's full speech to the SFA Annual Lunch is available below.

The November 2017 SFA Small Business Survey was conducted between 22 October and 5 November. The data is based on 732 responses from SFA member companies.
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.