Half of small firms plan to close or shed jobs

ALMOST half of small businesses expect that they will either have to close down, restructure or shed jobs in the next three months.

The Small Firms Association’s (SFA) Autumn Business Sentiment Survey found that seven out of 10 small businesses rate the current business environment as “poor” or “very poor”.

SFA director Patricia Callan said: “The overall survey results show that small business owner-managers are more positive for the second quarter in a row; however many remain under serious pressure.”

In terms of business structure, 44% of companies indicated that they will restructure, decrease in size or close down in the next three months. The results show that two thirds or 67% of the 684 survey respondents rate the overall business environment as “poor” or “very poor”, while slightly fewer, 60%, expect it to remain so in three months’ time.

The percentage of companies rating the overall business environment as either “good” or “average” rises from 24% for the last three months to 34% in three months’ time, with 29% rating the overall business environment in Ireland as “good” or “average”, highlighting a more positive outlook among respondents.

The survey indicates that 16% of respondents were more confident about their own business in Ireland now, compared to three months ago, but 35% indicated they are less confident now than they were three months ago.


Lifestyle

As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner