SFA Fortnightly Update

Dear Member, 


Welcome to the latest edition of the SFA Newsletter.


Budget 2022 has been underwhelming for Small Business; see what you need to know from Budget 2022 here.


We are looking forward to seeing you all in person once again at the SFA Annual Lunch on 17 November in The Round Room at The Mansion House. Reserve your seat now for the primary social event for small business in Ireland. 


The Commission for Communications Regulation is in the final phase of a three-year campaign to implement measures to improve the Non-Geographic Number (NGN) platform for organisations and consumers in Ireland; read more here.


You can register now for the Ibec HR Leadership Summit taking place on 21 October, and don't forget to check out our latest press coverage.


As always, we’d love to hear from you about any queries you may have, issues you wish to have raised with Government or other stakeholders and your ideas on how we can improve the business environment for us all. Please contact me on tel: 01 605 1602 or e-mail: sven@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit our website.


Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director


SFA in the media
  • SFA Awards 2022 Launch
  • Champion Green
  • Covid Sub Committee
  • Budget 2022

SFA Awards 2022

The Avondhu Press covered the launch of the SFA National Small Business Awards 2022 - make sure to apply before the deadline on 20 October.


Champion Green

The 'readymade retail' prize from Champion Green, which is supported by the SFA, was featured in WomenMeanBusiness after over 50 small business owners across Ireland entered the competition to have a rent-free retail outlet. 


Covid Sub Committee

Following the SFA press release calling for Minister Catherine Martin to be included in Covid Sub Committee, the SFA were featured in the Irish Exmainer.


What to know from Budget 2022

Read the SFA response to Budget 2022...

This afternoon Ministers Pascal Donohue and Michael McGrath announced the details for Budget 2022. In the main this budget, that has been dubbed by some the first non emergency budget since 2019 was piecemeal for many small businesses.


The cost of doing business is getting ever more prohibitive for small businesses, with previously announced policies such as the right to request remote work, statutory sick pay, pension auto enrolment and including todays budget announcement of a 30 cent increase in the National Minimum Wage. Small businesses are the forefront of job creation and economic activity in Ireland and are facing ever increasing costs, that will make it harder to retain and expand jobs.


While most of this budget was underwhelming there are some points of light such as the expansion of the EIIS, the increase if the self employed tax credit and the extension of the EWSS on a phased basis into 2022.


There has been some increases in funding to apprenticeships and training schemes which will help some small businesses to upskill and retain their talent.


You can read more about Budget 2022  here and read the SFA response here

Cessation of 1850, 1890 and 076 telephone numbers from 31 December 2021

The Commission for Communications Regulation is in the final phase of a three-year campaign to implement measures to improve the Non-Geographic Number (NGN) platform for organisations and consumers in Ireland...

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) - the body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector in Ireland - is in the final phase of a three-year campaign to implement measures to improve the Non-Geographic Number (NGN) platform for organisations and consumers in Ireland.


NGNs are phone numbers beginning with 1800, 1850, 1890, 0818, and 076, used by businesses, charities, and other organisations to deliver services like helplines, public services, and banking.


As part of the implementation of ComReg’s 2018 NGN Decision1, the five NGN ranges (1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076) will reduce to two (1800 and 0818) from 31 December 2021.


Any businesses or organisations that are still using 1850, 1890 or 076 phone numbers need to urgently switch to new numbers, or risk losing service. Their telecoms operator should already have been in direct contact to inform them about this, to explain the options available, and to assist them in switching to new numbers.Since 2018 ComReg has been working closely with telecoms operators in planning for and implementing these measures, and this letter is a reminder of the upcoming withdrawal of 1850, 1890 and 076 numbers and the need for business and organisations that have not already switched to new numbers to act now.


ComReg strongly recommends switching to new numbers before 31 October 2021.


There is no automatic switching. Failure to switch will lead to a loss of service.1 ComReg Document 18/106 and Decision D15/18 published 3rd December 2018.


By switching now, businesses and organisations will:

• Save money

• Get the best available number (1800 Freephone, 0818 Standard Rate numbers and geographic numbers are available)

• Have time to communicate their new number to callers, and to update their marketing materials and online contact details

• Prevent loss of service.


To support the final push for businesses and organisations to make the switch, ComReg has invested in a public information campaign to include radio and press advertising, alongside digital and social media campaigns.


ComReg’s campaign supports individual telecoms operators’ communications with their own customers.

An explanatory infographic is also included in the Annex to this letter for your reference.


What to do next:


1. If your own organisation currently uses 1850, 1890 or 076 numbers, please forward this letter to the relevant section of your organisation and request that they contact your telecoms operator and ask to be switched to the new numbers now. Once you have your new number, update your contact details online and elsewhere so that you don’t lose touch with your callers.


2. If any of your business contacts or bodies under your remit/aegis use 1850, 1890 or 076 numbers, please remind them to switch from 1850, 1890 and 076 phone numbers now. Their telecoms operator will assist them with this.


For more information, please see www.comreg.ie/ngn. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Dunne (email: karen.dunne@comreg.ie).

Ibec HR Leadership Summit

Join Ibec at virtual HR Leadership Summit on 21 October...

Don’t miss Ibec’s flagship HR Leadership Summit, Ireland’s #1 conference for HR Leaders, which will take place under the theme ‘The evolving workplace – achieving a sustainable balance’ on Thursday 21 October.


We live in an age where our climate of work is evolving rapidly due to unforeseen events. The way businesses organise their work and how they engage with their people has been significantly disrupted during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a rapid acceleration of flexible working practices.


As we look to the future, HR leaders are now taking a more expansive view beyond this public health emergency reflecting on what practices to retain, discard, adapt, enhance and grow. This year’s HR Leadership Summit, will explore how HR leaders can design and create a culture and environment that is sustainable for their organisations to thrive and succeed.


Ibec are pleased to announce international keynotes, who will no doubt inspire, Tsedal Neeley, Harvard Business School, and Noah Askin, INSEAD.


Full agenda to follow.

Book now to secure your place at this unmissable virtual event.

SCARP Webinar

Playback the webinar on the Summary Rescue Process for Small Business...

On Thursday, 7 October Declan de Lacy, Director of Adisory and Consulting at PFK gave an in depth look at the Summary Rescue Process for Small Business (SCARP) know as Administration lite. If you missed it you can find the recording here.


Remember to keep an eye on our upcoming events page to register for more SFA events and webinars.

Managing Intoxicant Issues in the Workplace
  • 13 October

  • Wednesday, 13 October 3.00-3.30pm

Emma Crowley, SFA HR Executive and Fiona Mulligan, CSI HR Executive will present a webinar on Managing Intoxicant issues in the workplace.#


This session will focus on employer’s legal duties in relation to managing intoxicants in the workplace, testing requirements, occupational health service and reasonable accommodations that may need to be applied. It will also explore the employment equality legislation in Ireland in the context of intoxicants, it will look at early warning signs and managing such scenarios in the workplace.

Register now.

Ibec HR Leadership Summit
  • 21 October

Ibec HR Leadership Summit, 21 October, Virtual


The Ibec HR Leadership Summit is taking place virtually on 21 October.

Join us at the #1 conference in Ireland for HR leaders, with keynote speakers Tsedal Neeley (Harvard Business School), Noah Askin (INSEAD) and Paul Reid, CEO, HSE examining this year’s theme “The evolving workplace: Achieving a sustainable balance”. Full agenda to follow.


Book now to secure your place at this unmissable virtual event.


SFA Annual Lunch
  • 17 November

  • Wednesday, 17 November

After a two year Covid-related hiatus, the SFA Annual Lunch is back and will take place on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 in The Round Room at The Mansion House, Dublin. 

The SFA Annual Lunch is the primary social event for small business in Ireland and an excellent opportunity for you, your colleagues, clients and guests to come together and network in a relaxed environment.
Speaker details will be announced shortly.

Individual places for Members are €125 plus VAT, and €175 for Non-Members plus VAT. You have the option of booking a seat or a table to seat 10 guests.

We are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in person once again.


Book your seat now for the SFA Annual Lunch on 17 November 2021 from 12.30pm - 4.00pm at The Round Room in the Mansion House, Dawson St, Dublin 2.

The SFA Annual Lunch is kindly sponsored by Flender & Target Integration.

This event will observe all Covid-related guidelines that will be in place at the time of the event; please contact Briana briana.mctiernan@sfa.ie with any queries.

SFA Skillnet Ireland Masterclasses

Learn how to reduce waste and improve profits and cash flow in your business with our Award-winning business support programme...

Last week, MentorsWork won the Best Coaching/Mentoring Initiative at the Irish Institute of Training and Development Awards. Don't miss your opportunity to get the support you need for your small business - for free!


Register interest for one of the following Masterclasses below, available through Skillnet Ireland which are available on a first come, first served basis to get a sneak peak at the many innovative sessions that are running as part of the MentorsWork programme. Please see our website for more information or to apply.


Alternatively, if you would like to attend any of the individual sessions listed below, please register by filling in this short form with your details and we will be in touch.



Masterclass | Sustainability: Why Business as Usual Is No Longer an Option

  • Thur 21 Oct 3.00pm - 4.00pm

Sustainability is the key topic informing international best practice for business in the 21st Century. But what is it? And what does it mean for SMEs? Businesses must adapt to include People, Planet and Prosperity as part of their business ecosystem through new sustainability strategies and design thinking business models. This masterclass will raise awareness of the Sustainability Agenda for SME businesses.


Masterclass | Cybersecurity and your SME: Why and How to Protect your Business from today's Cyber Threats

  • Tue 2 Nov 10:30am - 11:30am

Hackers are increasingly turning to smaller, softer targets, and as smaller businesses increasingly fall prey to cyber attacks, the consequences can be devastating. This practical masterclass will provide business owners with the critical knowledge, insights and recommended methods by which to protect their business from email-phishing scams, social-media hijackings, ransomware, viruses and malware attacks.. a must for all businesses today.

Masterclass | Change is Hard, but Embracing it Brings Progress

  • Tue 2 Nov 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Change is constant, driven by a diverse range of disrupters from technology to financial and customer market fluctuations. How will you embrace change? Our Change Masterclass will focus on: Preparing for Change, your objectives, dealing with resistance & unplanned change. Manage Change, exploring tactics and bringing the team with you and Reinforce Change, creating sustainable initiatives.

Masterclass | Accelerate your Growth – Double the Value of Your Business

  • Thur 4 Nov 11:00am - 12:00pm

Grow your business in 2021 and beyond to achieve significant growth and double your business. This thought leadership masterclass will help you examine new opportunities & channels - including exporting, tendering and pivoting. We will help you to build a plan to take you there, identify the funding you need and the actions to achieve this.

Masterclass | Innovation – 14 Rules for success

  • Tue 9 Nov 11:00am - 12:00pm

For many people Innovation = technology. But innovation involves far more than technological innovation. Innovation is doing something different that adds value. And, whilst it has become fashionable to think that innovators are born rather than made, we can show you that innovation can be learned. In this masterclass we’ll introduce you to the mindset, process and some of the pitfalls to get you started on your innovation journey. We’ll help to set your business up for growth and success.



If you would like to attend this session which is part of our MentorsWork Programme, please register here with your details and we will be in touch.