SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member,   

 

I am delighted to welcome Helen Quinn to the SFA. Helen has been appointed as an SFA Executive and is available to answer your HR and employment law queries. You can contact Helen on 01 605 1668 or helen.quinn@sfa.ie.’

 

In this week's ezine we advise you on the dos and don'ts for the holiday season.

 

Each week in the SFA e-zine, we profile a different business support available to small businesses. In this edition, we focus on the Going for Growth programme. This programme supports women who are serious about growing their businesses. In the last cycle the 78 participants increased their revenue over six months by €20m.

 

We provide you with a report on the SFA AGM and the outcome of election to the SFA National Council. We share with you the SFA National Small Business Awards 2018 finalists. We also provide a summary of recent press coverage.

 

Register to attend the SFA Members Christmas evening on 14 December for an evening of festive networking. Last chance to book a place on one of our training courses during December on project management and performance management. Save 1 February 2018 in your diary for our new event, Business Connect.

 

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: www.sfa.ie.


Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director


SFA IN THE MEDIA
Recent press coverage

Recent press coverage

  • SFA Awards 2018

  • Small Business Saturday

     


SFA Awards 2018

The SFA issued a press release officially announcing the finalists for the SFA Awards 2018, this was referred to in an article in The Talk of the Town  and Killkenny People on 4 December.

 

Small Business Saturday

The SFA encouraged shoppers to support small businesses in their local area this Christmas as part of Small Business Saturday.

 

On 2 December this was covered in:

SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens was interviewed on the topic on Highland Radio , Newstalk, Dublin FM and Roscommon Radio on 2 December.

 

NEWS
dos and don'ts for the holiday season
 

Given the Christmas period is just around the corner, we would advise our members to start preparation early to take as much stress out of the silly season as possible. To help you get ready this year we have set out a list of the key do’s and don'ts for employers to avoid any HR headaches...


Given the Christmas period is just around the corner, we would advise our members to start preparation early to take as much stress out of the silly season as possible. To help you get ready this year we have set out a list of the key do’s and don'ts for employers to avoid any HR headaches...

 

Do

  • Prepare in advance for salary reviews by benchmarking internal salaries and bonus arrangements against the market norm. The SFA Salary Report 2017 will be useful in getting up to speed with wage trends, inflation and cost of living indicators.
  • Remember to review the rules of your bonus scheme to take account of whether employees absent on protective leave or sick leave qualify for all or part of the bonus.
  • Circulate any corporate gifts policy that applies in the organisation.
  • Brief everyone about shutdown and working days in advance. If the business plans to close over the Christmas period and employees are required to take holidays at certain times, this should already have been communicated.
  • If some staff are required to work over the Christmas break, make sure to have set up a fair allocation system.
  • Ensure that you calculate your employees’ entitlements to public holiday benefits over Christmas and New Year correctly.
  • Strike the right balance for Christmas corporate social events. Ensure that employees feel rewarded for their contribution to the company throughout the year but be sure to remind them at the planning stage of the standards expected and the type of behaviour that is unacceptable.

Don’t

  • Allow year end performance appraisals to slip off the agenda just because one or other party isn’t motivated to do the appraisal. Managers may need to drive the process to ensure meetings happen and development plans are produced.
  • Forget to re-schedule performance appraisals for absent workers – including those on protective leave to happen on their return to the workplace.
  • Forget to be vigilant about the employment rights of any seasonal workers and young persons hired to cover the Christmas period or January sales.

For further information, you can listen back to the SFA webinar on planning for the Christmas period which covers this topic. For specific queries on the above you can contact Helen Quinn, SFA Executive, on helen.quinn@sfa.ie or 016051668

Going for Growth – application deadline 8 December
 

The Going for Growth programme supports women who are serious about growing their businesses. The programme is free of charge. In the last cycle the 78 participants increased their revenue over the six months by €20m and created 184 new full time jobs...


The Going for Growth programme supports women who are serious about growing their businesses. Going for Growth is based on a philosophy of peer learning with entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs. The Lead Entrepreneurs include Oonagh O’Hagan, The Meagher’s Group; Susan Spence, SoftCo; and Louise Phelan, PayPal.

 

Those involved in the programme demonstrate its success by increases in revenue, exports and employment generated over the six month cycle. In the last cycle the 78 participants increased their revenue over the six months by €20m and created 184 new full time jobs.

 

The call is now open for applicants for the 10th cycle of Going for Growth. The deadline is 8 December.

 

Applications will be considered from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are located in the Republic of Ireland. To be considered suitable for participation, the entrepreneur should already be the owner manager of a business of which she is a major shareholder and key influencer.

 

Suitable applicants need to demonstrate significant aspiration for growth and should be working full time on the business. It is expected that the business will have been trading for at least two years.

 

The selection is competitive, but the application process is not over-complicated. No interview or pitch is involved. The programme, which involves a time commitment of about three hours a month between January and June 2018, is free of charge to suitable applicants.

 

If you are interested in applying, please register your interest at www.goingforgrowth.com and you will receive an application form. Completed application forms must be returned by 8 December.

Is your business GDPR ready?
 

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a ground breaking piece of data protection legislation that will come into force on 25 May 2018. The GDPR will impact significantly on every business as it introduces severe financial penalties for non-compliance...


The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a ground breaking piece of data protection legislation that will come into force on 25 May 2018. The GDPR will impact significantly on every business as it introduces severe financial penalties for non-compliance. Now is the time to get your house in order and to take steps to prepare your business as your data protection obligations are about to get more onerous. We have set out below some recommendations that will assist your business prepare for introduction of the GDPR:

 

    1. Spread awareness of GDPR within your organisation

 

The GDPR provides for fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover and permits individuals to sue for both material and non-material damage. Key employees and decision makers across your business must, therefore, be aware of and trained on the GDPR so that they can consider how to ensure compliance and appropriately allocate resources.

 

    2. Conduct a data protection audit

 

Employers should review all personal data they hold and ensure that any data held has been fairly obtained with the subject's consent, is stored securely and is held for no longer than is necessary.

 

    3. Review your data protection notices

 

The GDPR re-emphasises the importance of data protection notices and sets out the information that a business must provide when first collecting personal data. When preparing notices, businesses must set out information in a clear, concise and easily accessible manner.

 

    4. Review your data protection policies

The GDPR provides that a data access request must be responded to within one month of receipt of the request. This is a reduction on the 40 day period provided for by current data protection legislation. In addition, documents must now be provided free of charge unless the request is “manifestly unfounded or excessive”, in which case a reasonable fee may be charged.

 

    5.  Review your data security procedures

 

The GDPR requires organisations to notify the Data Protection Comissioner of a data security breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. If there is a high risk to the rights of the data subjects they must also be promptly informed of the breach.

 

    6.  Consider whether you will need to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

 

It will be up to each business to decide whether they need to appoint a Data Protection Officer or whether this role can be delegated to an employee within the business. The GDPR does set out that a DPO must be appointed if an organisation:

  • Carries out regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale
  • Carries large scale processing of special categories of data
  • Is a public authority

From the above, it is clear that there are significant changes under the GDPR that require consideration and advance preparation by businesses.  The SFA have been involved, through the GDPR Taskforce, in delivering a series of short guides to help raise awareness and understanding of the GDPR. 

 

These guides can be accessed here. For any further information, please contact Helen Quinn on 016051668 or helen.quinn@sfa.ie.

Report of the SFA AGM and outcome of election to the SFA National Council
 

The SFA AGM took place on 29 November. The SFA Director and SFA Chair delivered their reports, which are now available to view. Three member were elected to serve on the SFA National Council for a three-year term...


The SFA AGM took place on 29 November 2017.

 

Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, reported on the activities of the Association in 2017.

 

Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair, delivered a report on behalf of the 13-member National Council, outlining the priorities of the Council over the past year, the lobbying activities of the Association and the policy wins which resulted. Both presentations are available here.

 

Three member were elected to serve on the SFA National Council for a three-year term. The successful candidates were:

  • Carol Ann Casey, CA Compliance
  • Geraldine Lavin, 3rd i IT and Business Services Ltd
  • Fredericka Sheppard, Voltedge Management

More information about the elected member is available here.

 

The SFA team looks forward to working with these and all of the members of the National Council over the coming year. Please feel free to get in touch with any member of the SFA Executive Team or the SFA National Council if there is an issue you would like to raise.

SFA National Small Business Awards 2018 - finalists announced
 

The short-list of finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2018 have been officially announced by Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair and Chair of the SFA Awards Judging Panel. A total of 38 companies have been selected as finalists, from 13 different counties, across eight categories...

 

 


The shortlist of finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2018 has been officially announced by Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair and Chair of the SFA Awards Judging Panel.

 

A total of 38 companies have been selected as finalists, from 13 different counties, across eight categories.

 

Manufacturing Award Category Finalists, sponsored by Energia

    • Aldar Tissues – Dublin
    • Briody Bedding – Meath
    • CUBE – Limerick
    • Future Grass Technology – Carlow
    • Kelly's of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
    • Leinster Environmentals – Louth 

Food & Drink Award Category Finalists, sponsored by Bord Bia

  • Good4U – Sligo
  • Kelly's of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
  • Oishii Foods – Dublin
  • Pip and Pear Chilled Baby Food – Waterford
  • Revive Active – Galway
  • The Tipperary Cheese Company – Tipperary

Services Category Finalists, sponsored by Three

  • Adams & Butler – Dublin
  • Home Instead Senior Care – Dublin
  • Homesecure.ie – Dublin
  • Irish Tax Rebates – Kildare
  • Kerona Scientific – Dublin
  • Revolve Marketing and PR – Dublin

Outstanding Small Business Finalists (up to 5 employees), sponsored by AIB

  • Coyle Group – Dublin
  • Earth's Edge – Dublin
  • Loughran Family Malt – Louth
  • Mezzo Music Academy – Dublin
  • Modus Energy – Kilkenny
  • TheTaste.ie – Dublin

Innovator of the year Finalists, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland

  • Aalto Bio Reagents – Dublin
  • APTVISION – Dublin
  • CLIRINX – Dublin
  • Easydry – Louth
  • Future Grass Technology – Carlow
  • Sonitus Systems – Dublin

Sustainable Energy Finalists, sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

  • Aldar Tissues – Dublin
  • Courtown Adventure & Leisure Centre – Wexford
  • Kelly's of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
  • Starting Small Standing Tall – Limerick

Small Business Exporter of the year Finalists, sponsored by DHL Express

  • Adams & Butler – Dublin
  • Easydry – Louth
  • Good4U – Sligo
  • Kerona Scientific – Dublin
  • Kora Healthcare – Dublin
  • PolyPico Technologies – Galway
  • Prodigy Learning – Dublin

Emerging New Businesses (under 2 years in business), sponsored by IE Domain Registry

  • Duffy Chartered Engineers IRL – Louth
  • Happy Scribe – Dublin
  • Heatese – Meath
  • Medlaw Reporting – Dublin
  • Zoan BioMed – Galway

The Awards prize package for ALL finalists includes participation in the SFA Business Connect event in February, a strategic management masterclass weekend, as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage, all valued at €50,000. Finalists also receive five complimentary tickets to the gala prize giving ceremony which will take place in the RDS in February 2018 when the category winners and overall winner will be announced. 

 

The category winners will be presented with a trophy and free membership of the Small Firms Association. The overall winner will also receive a bursary of €5,000 to present to a charity of their choice (funded by the 2013 Overall Winner, Megazyme International Ireland) and a responsible business practices check-up and action plan from Business in the Community Ireland.

 

Full details are on the SFA Awards website at www.sfa.ie/awards or follow us in Twitter: @SFA_Irl  #SFAAwards 2018

EVENTS
SFA Members Christmas Evening 2017
 
  • 14 December

The SFA Members Christmas evening will take place on Thursday, 14 December 2017 from 6.00pm-8.30pm at the SFA offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2.

The purpose of the evening is to give members an opportunity to network and develop business contacts in an informal setting. 

 

Our guest speaker this year will be Conor Kavanagh, RTE Radio 1 producer.

 

Festive food and refreshments will be served. The evening is free of charge and feel free to bring along a friend or colleague but please pre-register online.  

Save the date - SFA Business Connect
 
  • 1 February 2018

Note 1 February 2018 in your diary for SFA's brand new event, Business Connect 2018. 

 

Get your new year off to a positive start. Use Business Connect to build your network with many of Ireland’s leading larger companies.

 

Hear from a range of large companies on how they do business and how they connect with smaller organisations. Hear also from smaller companies who are successfully providing innovative and agile solutions to larger organisations. 

 

At this marketplace event, indigenous and multinational companies of all sizes will share a platform to discuss how best we can do business together. The event will take place in Aviva Stadium, Landsdowne Road, Dublin 4. Stay tuned for further details and how to book. 

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Last chance to book: Project Management and Performance Management training courses
 

Book now for our one-day training courses in December – Project Management on 7 December or Performance Management and Appraisal Skills on 14 December. These short programmes are tailored to small businesses and offered at special rates to make them affordable for SFA members...


Now is the time to invest in yourself and your employees. We encourage you to avail of the programmes being offered through the SFA to unlock your potential and that of your business.

 

There are two courses coming up in December 2017:

  • Project Management: 7 December (see here)
  • Performance Management and Appraisal Skills: 14 December (see here)

Project Management

 

Do you or your managers need to develop your project management skills?

 

The SFA’s Project Management course has been described by a 2016 delegate as: “Excellently delivered course with real life scenarios that I can bring into my role.”

 

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying the life cycle and phases of a project
  • Key communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ensuring deadlines are agreed and met
  • Delivering results every time

Details:

  • When: 7 December
  • Where: Ibec, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
  • Cost: €190 per delegate
  • Book now by clicking here

Performance Management and Appraisal Skills

 

It is important that appraisals, as well as other aspects of performance management, are handled well in order to address poor performance and ensure that high performers remain engaged with their work.

 

Topics covered include:

  • The employee lifecycle
  • Managing the appraisal meeting: preparation, structure, style
  • Managing poor and high performers
  • Delivering feedback and dealing with challenging people

Details:

  • When: 14 December 2017
  • Where: Ibec, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
  • Cost: €190 per delegate 
  • Book now by clicking here

For all queries, please call the organiser Quelba Lima, on 01 605 1619.