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Small Businesses Remain Cautious Entering 2017

 

The small business community remains cautious, according to a recent survey published by the Small Firms Association (SFA).

The survey entitled ‘Small Firms Outlook 2017’ outlined that 50% owner-managers feel that the business environment is improving, down from 77% one year ago and 66% in May, with 18% indicating that it is dis-improving.

Amongst the main causes for concern – issues such as wage inflation, Brexit/Sterling exchange rate and cashflow issues were listed by the respondents.

Patricia Callan, SFA Director, said “2016 has been a challenging year for small business. The optimism that existed at the beginning of the year has given way to a much more cautious sentiment among small businesses, due to emerging wage demands, Brexit and downward revisions of growth forecasts. Still, 52% of SFA members say their businesses are growing, with only 9% declining. This shows that 2017 still has the potential to be a strong year, if the risks are managed effectively at firm level and Government level.”

Reportedly, almost two-thirds of the small firms surveyed said that they will recruit in 2017.

According to Callan, “Small firms already employ over half of the private sector workforce and almost two-thirds of our members will be hiring in 2017. Small firms have a crucial role to play in job creation around the country, reducing unemployment and attracting emigrants home to work.”

On a positive note, 32% of small businesses agreed that they see domestic economic growth as the biggest opportunity for their business in the New Year.

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

 

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