SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
In this week's e-zine, we analyse a case where an employee was awarded €15,000 for unfair dismissal. We bring you the results of the DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor which presents a mixed picture of the current SME environment. We also encourage you to create a free member advert on the SFA website and we have included a step by step guide on how to do this to ensure that you are getting the most from your membership.
Each week in the SFA e-zine, we profile a different government support available to small businesses. In this edition, we focus on the feasibility/innvoation grant, where buisnesses or individual enterpreneures can be given up to €15,000 to research if their business idea would be viable and sustainable. We have also included details about Revenue's new website.
We bring you information about the E3 Dublin event taking place on 29 June for which SFA members can avail of a 50% discount. Book onto one of of our upcoming training courses now to develop new skills for your business. We also provide a summary of recent 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 1626 or e-mail: email@example.com or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit: www.sfa.ie.
SFA Acting Director
Recent press coverage
The SFA were referred to in an article in the Irish Times about businesses requiring €1 billion in emergency funding to survive Brexit.
Finance and investment
The SFA issued a press release on new data launched regarding the finance and investment priorities of small firms. This was covered in the Irish Independent on 10 June, Business World on 9 June and the Limerick Post on 17 June.
Manager dismissed for refusing to work Sundays wins €15,000 for unfair dismissal
In this case, a pizza manager successfully took a claim against his previous employer for unfair dismissal. The company had requested the claimant to work two Sunday shifts and when he refused he was told by his manager to not return to the business. At the hearing, the company alleged that they were under the belief that the employee had resigned from his role and was not dismissed...
In this case, a pizza manager successfully took a claim against his previous employer for unfair dismissal. The company had requested the claimant to work two Sunday shifts and when he refused he was told by his manager to not return to the business. At the hearing, the company alleged that they were under the belief that the employee had resigned from his role and was not dismissed. However, this was rejected by the Adjudication Officer and the claimant’s version of events was favoured.
From this case, there are some important lessons for employers:
- If you are of the belief that an employee has resigned, ensure to get this in writing or else it is one person’s word against another
- If an employee has resigned in the heat of the moment or there are underlying issues in the workplace which has led the employee to resign, the employee should be formally requested to reconsider their decision and/or the matters should be investigated
- If you require an employee to work an additional shift/stay late and they refuse then listen to the reasons for why they are not in a position to stay on that occasion and note these. You could then agree an alternative day that they could work instead to ensure all additional hours are fairly allocated among employees
- Do not react in the heat of the moment! You can express your disappointment that an employee is unable to help out on this occasion but be careful about letting this get the better of you. Take a few minutes to calm down before responding to the employee to ensure that you do not say something (as in this case) that you may later regret
If you have any queries on this article, please contact Ciara McGuone on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 016051668.
€15,000 grant to explore the feasibility of your business idea
Spotlight on the feasibility study grant, which funds 50% of the cost of a feasibility study to establish the viability and sustainability of your business idea, up to a maximum of €15,000. This article provides information on the grant and how to apply for it...
There are over 80 different government supports available to small businesses but many of them are not well known or understood. Each week in the SFA e-zine, we will profile a different support that could improve your business, giving you information and advice.
A grant of up to €15,000 to new companies or individual entrepreneurs to research their business idea to see if it would be viable and sustainable.
The grant can be used to offset a maximum of 50% of the following costs, up to a maximum of €15,000:
- Market research
- Consultancy – including design, architecture and legal fees
- Technical development/prototype/innovation – including prototype development, innovative design, research costs, patent costs and third-level college consultancy
- Salary/own labour
- Miscellaneous costs – including telephone costs, mileage, subsistence and accommodation, air travel etc.
The feasibility study should lead to firm conclusions about the viability of the business idea and generate the information needed to draw up a full business plan.
The feasibility grant aims to increase the number of companies established by covering the costs of researching a new business idea. It also aims to reduce the failure rate for new companies by encouraging detailed research into the potential viability and sustainability of the business idea from the outset.
The feasibility/innovation grants are administered by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country. You should contact your nearest LEO before applying to ensure that you are eligible. Applications can be made through the online form.
Your LEO will acknowledge receipt of the application and you will be invited to meet with a member of the LEO staff to discuss it. Only expenditure incurred after the acknowledgement of receipt will be eligible if the application is successful.
Your application will be evaluated at the next available meeting of the LEO’s Evaluation and Approvals Committee and you will be informed in writing of the decision.
Approved grants are paid after the completion of the feasibility study, once the following are submitted:
- A signed acceptance offer
- Original invoices
- Evidence of payment
- A written report on the feasibility study
- An auditor’s certificate (if required)
- A claim form
- A current, valid tax clearance certificate
- Any other documents set out in the letter of offer
If you are interested in availing of this service, don’t forget:
- Before applying for the grant you should have done sufficient preliminary research to suggest that a full feasibility study is worthwhile.
- Your business idea should have job creation potential.
- Only businesses or individuals intending to explore the feasibility of a manufacturing or internationally traded service business are eligible.
- The 50% maximum grant increases to 60% for businesses in the BMW (Border, Midlands and West) region.
- Miscellaneous costs are allowable up to a maximum of €400 per week and must not exceed 20% of the overall grant drawdown.
- The grant must be drawn down within 12 months of approval.
- To comply with EU rules, you will be asked to provide details of all other grant aid awarded to you/your company in the past three years (if this exceeds €200,000, you will not be eligible for the feasibility grant).
- More information is available here and on the websites of the individual LEOs.
Advertise your business for free on the SFA website
One of the many benefits of SFA membership is the network of 8,500 fellow members which you can promote your business to...
One of the many benefits of SFA membership is the network of 8,500 fellow members which you can promote your business to.
Membership of the SFA can give you common ground with a business that you would like to connect with and turn a cold lead into a warmer lead.
One of the channels to do this is through creating a free member advert on the SFA website, these feature in the SFA Connect area of our website and are also periodically pulled onto our homepage. Members can advertise their business, products and services through the ad, many offer discounts to other SFA members and this can be highlighted in the text.
1. Upload your company logo
- Log into the SFA website
- Go to ‘My SFA Connect profile’
- Then 'View my logo'
- Upload a logo- this must be in the following dimensions: 200 pixels width x 200 pixels height.
2. Create your advert
- Go to ‘My SFA Connect profile’
- Then ‘View my adverts’
- Then ‘Upload a member advert’ and complete the form.
This will then be reviewed by the SFA and shortly be published live to our website.
If you have any queries on this please contact Louise Kenrick on 01 605 1664 or email: email@example.com.
Revenue launches new website
Revenue’s new website went live on 7 June 2017. This major redesign provides easy access to information, no matter what device is used...
SME Market Monitor presents mixed picture for SME environment
Revenue’s new website went live on 7 June 2017. This major redesign provides easy access to information, no matter what device is used.
Revenue’s aim is to make it easier for customers to understand their entitlements and meet their tax and duty obligations. The new website uses plain language, reduces the use of unnecessary technical terms and makes extensive use of examples.
The website meets commitments set out in the Public Sector Reform Plan that public information should be accessible and easily understood. It is also a key deliverable of Revenue’s Statement of Strategy and Customer Engagement Strategy. A feedback facility allows users to share their views and suggestions with Revenue at the click of a button.
Revenue’s full range of online services is accessible on the new website.
The latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, June 2017 shows that the current environment for SMEs is not as robust as certain key indicators may suggest...
The latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, June 2017 shows that the current environment for SMEs is not as robust as certain key indicators may suggest.
Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, the latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor outlines how unfolding external events, and in particular Brexit, seem to be taking their toll on the Irish economy resulting in a mixed picture of the SME environment.
The indicators presented are grouped under four headings:
- Sentiment Indicators
- Macroeconomics Indicators
- Sectoral Indicators
- Lending Indicators.
The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor can be viewed here.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs can internationalise more easily now than at any time in history. Yet, many small to mid-sized businesses do not explore new markets. Complexity and lack of credible contacts are among the principal reasons for the reluctance to expand globally. Regulations are especially burdensome for smaller firms.
The Entrepreneurship Export Exchange (E3) conference is enabling entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses to connect with local and regional markets across the USA. E3 events are expressly designed to provide businesses with an intimate, in-depth opportunity to engage with US and foreign trade officials. Unlike large trade expos, E3 will offer smaller firms the chance to spend more time, get specific answers to their questions, and personally meet the right contacts to pave the way.
The Dublin event is taking place on 29 June in Enterprise Ireland, East Point Business Park, Dublin 3. We are very pleased that SFA members can avail of a 50% discount on tickets using the code SFA50.
Access. Seldom is access to so many high-level officials from countries around the world available in such an intimate setting. E3 is designed for depth. This isn’t your standard international expo where you might hope to collect a couple cards or get a few minutes to pitch your business interests. Small companies will gain a deeper understanding of the issues, opportunities, and key actors they need to know to grow their companies in new markets overseas.
- 9:00 AM: Registration, Coffee and Networking
- 9:30 AM: Opening Sessions and Welcome - Brett Bruen, President, Global Situation Room, Inc.
- 9:45 AM: Niamh Bushnell, Founder and CEO of TechIreland, Dublin’s first Commissioner for Startups, and Founder of the Dublin Globe
- 10:00 AM: Laying the Landscape of Business in the United States - Dr Frank Levene, Avitus Group
- 10:30 AM: Panel Discussion: Strategies for Small Firms, from Entrepreneurs Who Have Succeeded on Both Sides of the Atlantic
- Moderator: Evan Rudowski, Atlantic Leap
- Philip Noone, Managing Director, Aalto Bio Reagents
- 11:15 AM: Presentations on U.S Markets
- 1:00 PM: SelectUSA Outcomes
- 1:15 PM: Does Your Company Have What it Takes to Go Global? - Thunderbird School of Global Management
- 2:00 PM: Presentations on U.S Markets
- 2:45 PM: Afternoon Coffee and Networking Break
- 3:15 PM: Panel: Policy Shifts, and what Irish Businesses Need to Know
- Moderator: Patrick Jephson
- Simon McKeever, Irish Exporters Association
- 4:00 PM: Closing Remarks and Keynote
- 4:30 PM: Conference Close
Find out more and register to attend here.
Plan your training calendar now
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. The challenges currently facing small businesses should not delay your investment in training for you and your staff. In fact, they make it all the more urgent to boost your firm’s competitiveness. Check out the courses being offered by the SFA from September to December 2017 in the ‘Unlock your potential 2017’ brochure...
Small businesses face many challenges and uncertainties in the current business environment. Rather than letting these delay investment in training for you and your staff, they make it all the more urgent. The competitiveness of your business depends on it.
Invest in knowledge and interest will soon accrue in terms of chance of survival, business performance and, crucially, employee satisfaction. If a business has a culture of ongoing professional development and is willing to invest in their employees, it is more likely that staff will remain engaged and committed to the company for the long term.
In 2017, the SFA is focusing our course offering on the areas that will most benefit a small business. No matter what stage of development your business is at, these courses are designed to address your needs. Based on your feedback, the courses are short and are offered at very reasonable rates.
Now is the time to invest in yourself and your employees. Avail of the training opportunities presented in the SFA ‘Unlock your potential 2017’ brochure to bolster your competitiveness and equip your business for the future.
Next available courses:
- Foundations in Management, two-day course, 7-8 September, Dublin, €370 for SFA members
- Project Management, one-day course, 15 September, Dublin, €190 for SFA members
To book your place, visit www.sfa.ie/events
Irish Business Monitor June 2017
Your Business Live, Ireland’s major SME event brings you the Irish Business Monitor – an indicator for businesses in Ireland, in partnership with SFA, Ibec and Enterprise Ireland...
Your Business Live, Ireland’s major SME event brings you the Irish Business Monitor – an indicator for businesses in Ireland, in partnership with SFA, Ibec and Enterprise Ireland.
Please answer the survey to ensure that your business is part of this monitor across sectors, industries and regions. Your contribution is important to us.
Your Business Live is offering respondents the chance to win an ipad, one years’ subscription to the digital edition of The Irish Independent and a pair of tickets to the Your Business Live SME event taking place October 17 and 18 2017 in the RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin.
Click here to take part in the Irish Business Monitor.