Irish SMEs more worried about Brexit than Donald Trump

Irish SMEs foresee the UK’s proposed exit from the EU as being significantly more negative to Ireland’s economy than the pending US presidential change.

A survey of 100 export-focused SMEs who regularly use short-stay visas for business travel found that while 50% feel Donald Trump’s presidency will impact negatively on Ireland, a more significant 65% said the same regarding Brexit.

The survey was conducted by Irish migration services firm

“It was revealing to find that 42% of people didn’t see Mr Trump’s office as affecting us at all. Just 21% of respondents held that same view in relation to Brexit,” said VisaFirst managing director Edwina Shanahan.

That said, only 8% of firms welcomed Mr Trump’s election.

The survey found 48% of SMEs believe the Irish workforce is experiencing a skills shortage in a number of sectors.

Another survey, jointly produced by the Institute of Directors’ Irish and UK chapters, showed that business leaders in the Republic and UK both believe Brexit will negatively affect their business.

Over 90% of respondents disagreed with Brexit, while nearly 50% said the move will negatively impact investment in the North.

Despite this, Belfast City Council yesterday announced the city has been ranked in the top 25 for foreign direct investment attraction by fDi magazine in its biennial ‘Global Cities of the Future’ ranking.

“There is widespread consensus among Institute of Directors Ireland members that Brexit holds nothing positive for Ireland, in general terms, and that it will negatively impact the Irish economy,” said the institute.

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