Small Business Manifesto

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

There are over 267,000 small businesses (less than 50 employees) in Ireland. They represent 98% of businesses in the country and employ 755,854 people – half of the private sector workforce.  

What we are asking for?

The next government should have a major focus on entrepreneurship and small business and develop a visible and coherent national SME and Entrepreneurship policy.

We are urging every party and candidate contesting to listen to, and make every effort to understand, the challenges faced by small firms in the communities they hope to represent.

During the election campaign, ask your local candidates for their views on:

Cost of doing business

  • Rising insurance costs – Combat the substantial increase in employer and public liability insurance and related legal costs
  • Wage pressures – Recognise the need to reconcile pay demands with threats to competitiveness
  • Commercial rates – Fundamentally reform the commercial rates system
  • Administration burden – Apply the SME Test across Government Departments to reduce the regulatory burden on small business
  • Access to finance – Improve access to bank and non-bank finance and reduce the high interest rates paid by Irish businesses compared with those in other EU countries

  • Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to €1650 to equal the PAYE tax credit
  • Reducing the general CGT rate to 20%
  • Increasing the lifetime limit for CGT Entrepreneur Relief to €15 million
  • Simplifying the administration procedure for the R&D Tax credit
  • Introducing a tax relief for non-domiciled new hires by small business

Future of work
  • Infrastructure – Addressing issues such as childcare, housing, transport links and broadband to maintain competitiveness
  • Upskilling – Providing sufficient training in leadership, digital readiness and financial management skills
  • Public procurement – Securing better access for small business to public contracts

Climate change
  • Setting clear and definite environmental targets, policies and incentives to help small businesses know what they need to do in enough time to transition to a low carbon economy
  • Providing small businesses with additional State supports to identify and exploit opportunities from the green economy as they emerge

To ensure that the voice of small business is heard in Election 2020 we ask members to share our below manifesto.

On social media use the hashtag: #SFA4Business 
  • Twitter - @SFA_Irl
  • LinkedIn – Small Firms Association

For suggested tweets and social media images see our Get Involved page