SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member,

In this week's e-zine we bring you information on managing long term absenteeism and its effect on small business, the SFA National Small Business Awards, a simple guide to cross-border business and how you can advertise your business for free through the SFA. Minister Damien English will officially launch our new series of free monthly training seminars, Business Bytes, tomorrow evening. Join us from 6pm to learn what Government supports are available to you. We also provide details on upcoming events and 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 directly at tel: 01 605 1602 or 
e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit www.sfa.ie.


Kind Regards,

Patricia Callan
SFA Director


NEWS
Managing long term absenteeism and its effect on small businesses
 
Many of us will understand the impact that long term absenteeism can have on small businesses. Absence management is an important step in addressing both our costs and productivity levels...

Many of us will understand the impact that long term absenteeism can have on small businesses. Absence management is an important step in addressing both our costs and productivity levels. 

The recently established entitlement to annual leave accrual while on certified sick leave, has once again brought a focus on long term absenteeism and many of our members are contacting the SFA to focus on eliminating, or reducing unnecessary levels of absence.

The SFA have produced a best practice approach on how to deal with both long term and short term absenteeism. This can be found in our advice forum online

For advice on tacking absenteeism cases, or for proactive absenteeism management guidance, contact Jonathan Callan, SFA Executive, tel: 01 605 1668, email: jonathan.callan@sfa.ie

Less than 3 weeks to go to apply for the SFA Awards
 
The application deadline for the SFA National Small Business Awards is less than 3 weeks away! Find out what it takes to be an award-winning small business at the SFA B2B Networking event on 19 October.

The application deadline for the SFA National Small Business Awards is less than 3 weeks away!

Find out what it takes to be an award-winning small business at the SFA B2B Networking Event on Monday, 19 October from 6:00pm-8:30pm in the AIB Bank Centre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

This informal networking event will involve a panel discussion featuring three previous winners of the SFA National Small Business Awards who will offer insights for businesses who are looking to grow their organisations successfully. The event is free to attend but you must pre-register on our website


The Awards competition is free to enter and is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and there is a wide range of categories to suit all sectors including: 

  • Manufacturing 
  • Food & Drink 
  • Services 
  • Outstanding Small Business (for up to 5 employees)
  • Innovator of the Year 
  • Sustainability 
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Emerging New Business

Six companies will be chosen as finalists in each of the seven categories and all 42 finalists will receive a prize package to the value of €50,000.

Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Friday, October 30th and entry forms are available online at www.sfa.ie/awards. 

If you would like more information on the Awards please visit www.sfa.ie/awards or email Louise Swail awards@sfa.ie tel: 01605 1664 or Tweet about the Awards using #SFAAwards2016

A simple guide to cross-border business
 
InterTradeIreland has produced a simple, practical guide on everything a business needs to know about expanding into a new cross-border territory. It includes...

InterTradeIreland has produced a simple, practical guide on everything a business needs to know about expanding into a new cross-border territory. It includes:

  • All the do's and don'ts as well as valuable information on setting up a cross-border business
  • Up to date regulatory information to keep your business compliant
  • Answers to the most common financial and legal questions about operating cross-border - eg. Buying and selling goods and services across the North/South, tax implications, debt collection and exploring joint ventures.
To download a copy of the report visit InterTradeIreland's website.
Advertise your business for free through the SFA
 

As a member of the SFA, there are a variety of ways to profile your company to other members and stakeholders. Enclosed is a simple guide to maximising your visibility within the SFA network.

 


As a member of the SFA, there are a variety of ways to profile your company to other members and stakeholders. Below is a simple guide to maximising your visibility within the SFA network.

Now That’s What I Call Business magazine

What? Our quarterly magazine is posted to all 8,500 members and to the broader SFA network. Each issue contains a member profile section where companies can share their latest news with other members – whether a new product, an award nomination, a rebrand or any other development that you would like to highlight.

How? Email a press release or a short article of up to 250 words, along with a photo to linda.barry@sfa.ie.

Website – Member profile

What? The SFA website, www.sfa.ie, receives over 3 million hits per year. As an SFA member, your company has the opportunity to be profiled in the ‘Member Spotlights’ section. The profile is presented in a question and answer format, allowing you to share the story of your business with visitors to the website.

How? Log into the SFA website and complete this online form and upload your company logo and a photo. The photo and the logo must both be jpeg files in the following dimensions: 200 pixels width x 200 pixels height. This can be done at any point throughout the year. If you have any queries on this please contact louise.swail@sfa.ie.

Website – Company advert 

What? Members can advertise their business, products and services on the SFA website. Many businesses offer discounts to other SFA members and this can be highlighted in the advertisement.

How? Log into the SFA website and complete this online form or send a few lines about the company, who you are, what you do and what you can offer to other members, along with a link to your website and contact details (name, address, email and phone number) to louise.swail@sfa.ie. Please also send your company logo as a jpeg file in the following dimensions: 200 pixels width x 200 pixels height. This can be done at any point throughout the year.

Connect with the SFA on social media

What? The SFA has significant reach through social media with all those involved or interested in issues affecting small firms. By connecting with us, you and your company can gain visibility and interact with those in the SFA digital network.

How? Follow us on Twitter at @SFA_Irl Interact with us by mentioning SFA in your tweets and retweeting and favouriting our content and we’ll try to do the same for you. On LinkedIn, follow the Small Firms Association or connect with any of the SFA staff.

NOW That's what I call business - October edition out now
 
Check your post boxes this week for your printed copy of the SFA 'NOW That's what I call business' quarterly magazine.

Check your post boxes this week for your printed copy of the SFA 'NOW That's what I call business' quarterly magazine. The October edition contains news about the SFA proposals for Budget 2016, updates from member companies, dates for your diary and advice on pensions, electricity costs and managing stress in the workplace.

Thank you to all of the member companies who inputted into the magazine. If you have any feedback or would like to share a news item for the next edition, please contact Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, on 01-6051626 or linda.barry@sfa.ie

EVENTS
SFA Business2Business Free Networking Event
 
Monday, 19 October 2015

Date: Monday, 19 October
Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm 
Venue: AIB Bank Centre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Learn from experienced award-winning businesses at this free networking event.

This informal networking event will involve a panel discussion featuring three previous winners of the SFA National Small Business Awards. The discussion will offer insights for businesses who are looking to grow their organisations successfully. The panel will be chaired by SFA Director, Patricia Callan.

Panel

  • Suzanne Browne, Cleavamama – SFA National Small Business Awards Overall Winner 2015                                                                                    
  • Fabien Peyaud, Herdwatch - SFA National Small Business Awards Emerging New Business 2015                                                                                        
  • Alan Wiseman, Topform – SFA National Small Business Awards Small Business Exporter of the Year 2015

Agenda

6.00pm: Guests arrive - networking

6.50pm: Welcome by Ken Burke, Head of Business Banking, AIB

- Introduction by Patricia Callan, Director, SFA

- Panel discussion with questions from the floor

7.40pm: Discussion ends and further networking

8.30pm: Event closes


This event is free of charge however, you must pre-register. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have any further queries on the event please contact Louise Swail on tel: 01605 1664 or email: louise.swail@sfa.ie.

SFA Annual Lunch with Central Bank Governor
 
Friday, 6 November 2015

The SFA Annual Lunch will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin on Friday, 6 November 2015. We are delighted that the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Patrick Honohan, will be the Guest of Honour.

This is the biggest business lunch of the year for the small business community and a celebration of the contribution that small businesses make to the Irish economy and society. With over 700 members and guests expected to attend, it represents a fantastic networking opportunity and we would urge all member companies to be represented.

The SFA Annual Lunch is a perfect occasion to bring together your invited guests, special customers, clients or valued employees. The cost for SFA members is €650 + 23% VAT all inclusive for a table of 10.

To book your place click here.

SFA IN THE MEDIA
This Week's Press Coverage

 Budget 2016, the Living Wage and unscheduled absenteeism were in the media. 


Budget 2016

SFA issued a pre-budget press release on 9 October commenting that it is critical that Budget 2016 delivers real benefit for small businesses, read the full press release.

The SFA will be giving small business reaction to the Budget throughout the day (13 October). SFA Director, Patricia Callan will be in studio for RTE's "Prime Time" coverage this afternoon live on air at 3.30pm, and tonight from 9.30pm. 

Living Wage

On 9 October Patricia Callan, SFA Director spoke to KFM regarding the Lidl Living Wage.

Unscheduled absenteeism

Following a weekend of Irish sport, Patricia Callan, SFA Director issued a comment to the Irish Sun on 11 October encouraging employees to turn up to work as unscheduled absences hurt small businesses. 

RTE ONE - Farmers in Charge - Seeking Businesses

Do You Want to Give Your Business a Boost? A new RTÉ ONE show is out to help you.

RTÉ and WAKA TV is shooting a brand new business makeover show this autumn that aims to help small to medium Irish businesses improve their profitability and market share, with the aid of a top business Consultant and a very successful Irish farmer. WAKA TV who is making the show for RTÉ are looking for small to medium Irish businesses in any sector who’d love to be doing better; and are willing to trust in the skills of a successful farmer to make that happen.

Business can be retailers or manufacturers. If your business would like the opportunity to appear on RTÉ as it gets a fresh injection of smart new ideas, contact robert@wakatv.ie or on 01 634 3733. 

BUSINESS BYTES
The what, where and how of grants, loans, tax savings and other government supports – FREE SEMINAR TOMORROW
 
Business Byte Image

SFA Business Bytes, with the support of Bord Gáis Energy, offer unparalleled access to a wide range of high quality training events which are entirely free of change to attend. 


SFA Business Bytes, with the support of Bord Gáis Energy, offer unparalleled access to a wide range of high quality training events which are entirely free of change to attend.

Small business are missing opportunities to avail of government supports for their business due to lack of information and confusion. Understanding what supports your business qualifies for, where to apply for them and how to avoid some common pitfalls could be the key to sustaining your business or taking it to the next level.


The next free seminar will cover the what, where and how of grants, loans, tax savings and other government supports:

Date: 14 October 2015

Time: 18:00-20:30

Duration: 2.5 hours

Venue: Bord Gais HQ, One Warrington Place, Dublin 2

This seminar will cover:

  • The Supporting SMEs online tool
  • The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
  • Microfinance Ireland
  • The Credit Review Office
  • Job Bridge and Jobs Plus
  • The Family Income Supplement

 Damien English TD, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, will launch the Business Bytes 2015-2016 season. He will be joined by experts from across government and state agencies who will engage with members on the details of the various schemes.

 

The seminar will last for approximately one hour with an opportunity to network with peers for an hour immediately after the seminar. Refreshments will be provided.

 

This event is entirely free of charge but you must pre register.