Two-thirds of Irish SMEs plan to invest in 2016

22nd December 2015 | News

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Ireland’s small business community anticipate investing more money in their operations next year, up from 51 per cent when surveyed last year.

The PwC 2015 SME Pulse Survey, which surveyed small businesses with less than 250 employees, found that fewer SMEs expect overall costs to increase in the next 12 months compared with the previous year.

The most pressing economic and policy threat to SMEs right now – as voted by the Irish SME community – was political change (68 per cent). The next biggest concern remains inadequate business infrastructure (66 per cent).

These concerns aside, other SME issues have eased considerably, most notably the government’s response to debt burdens, increasing tax burdens, exchanging rate volatility and over-regulation.

Nine-in-ten (91 per cent) Irish SMEs are confident about the national economy’s prospects in the year ahead.

Furthermore, 81 per cent are positive about their own business, reflected in the fact that 68 per cent are now planning to invest in their business compared with just over half of respondents in 2014.

John Dunne, partner, PwC Private Business Services, said: “The survey is good news for the Irish SME sector, many of whom are targeting the export market.

“While still high, many of the challenges of the past are now beginning to show signs of easing up such as access to finance, skills and the overall tax burden.

“However, as a small open economy heavily dependent on foreign markets, there is no time for complacency and private Irish businesses should continue to keep a close watch on all areas of operation and look to really exploit the benefits that digital technologies have to offer.”