34% of businesses will not be in a position to increase pay.
84% of businesses report an increase in their business insurance premiums
The results of the ISME Quarterly Business Trends Survey for Q1 2018 released today (4th May) show confidence in the SME sector declining. 10 out of 12 confidence indicators showed disimprovements since the previous quarter, with business confidence dropping 8%. Brexit remains the biggest concern for SMEs followed by Labour Costs and Economic Uncertainty. The Trends report also provides up to date information on employee pay, broadband services and business and motor insurance costs in the SME sector.
Commenting on the results, ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said “Today’s results are disappointing. A reversal in 10 out 12 confidence indicators reflects some of the uncertainties around business at the moment.”
“While the economy is improving, many SMEs are struggling with excessive business costs, competiveness, and inadequate infrastructure. These are impacting the health of the SME sector. Our latest business insurance figures show 84% of respondents have experienced an increase.”
“On the positive side, forecasted wage increases are more optimistic than they were in Q4 2017.”
“We have raised the issue of high business costs with respective ministers and governmental departments. We have sent submissions and proposals showing how practical measures could be introduced that would benefit our indigenous industrial policy and workers.”
“Government’s fixation on Foreign Direct Investment needs to change, greater focus needs to be directed toward our indigenous industrial policy. To focus on the former is to the detriment of the SME sector. A change in attitude toward the SME sector is needed”