SFA Business Sentiment Survey Summer 2021
Confidence among small business owners has notably improved, according to the latest ‘Small Business Sentiment Survey’ report from the SFA. Over half (55%) of SFA members feel that the business environment is improving, compared with 35% in summer 2020.
- Despite the challenges faced by our small business community in early 2021, business owners and entrepreneurs are confident for summer 2021 and the second half of the year.
- Domestic economic growth continues to be identified as the primary driver of business opportunities in 2021.
- 70% of respondents plan to invest in their business this year with business growth, IT and brand development identified as areas of priority.
- COVID-19 restrictions in the first half of the year led to decreased working hours, the pausing or cancelling of planned recruitment and a temporary reduction in staff numbers. Despite these challenges, survey respondents indicated that performance of the business and the individual permitting, they expect wage rates to increase over the coming months.
- Small business owners identified slow economic growth, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, and a rising regulatory burden, as a risk to themselves and all businesses over the next six months.
- Brexit: Small business owners reported being negatively impacted by the end of the transition period. Over half of participants experienced delays with moving goods to or from the UK since 1 January 2021.
- Intention to apply for credit: The number of small firms intending to apply for credit decreased from 64% in summer 2020 to 57% in summer 2021. Participants ranked improvements in access to finance, as the most important thing that Government could change to boost their business. With both Ulster Bank and KBC announcing their planned withdrawal from the Irish market, Government must act fast to improve competition in our banking market.
You can access the full report here.