Belfast Telegraph

46% of firms enjoy growth, but smaller businesses feeling pinch

Support: Aidan Gough
Support: Aidan Gough
Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

New research from an all-island business development body has revealed that 46% of companies across Ireland have reported growth despite Brexit woes.

InterTradeIreland's latest all-Island Business Monitor (Q3 2019) also revealed that a similar amount of companies reported being stable (44%).

However, it said the overall figures mask some worrying signs for small firms with three in 10 micro businesses reporting that they are "just breaking even at best", while the outlook for construction has softened, with one in four firms experiencing a decrease in sales this quarter.

Over a third (37%) of firms reported that Brexit is having a negative impact on their business - almost double the number of business compared to this time last year.

It added that the number of firms preparing for Brexit has risen, with 28% of cross-border traders reporting they have taken mitigating action, particularly in areas such as supply chain (51%), contracts (46%) and cash flow (50%).

Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland's designated officer and director of strategy and policy said he was "reassured" to see more cross-border SMEs preparing.

"We encourage more businesses to avail of the support available to them, including InterTradeIreland's on-line learning resources and funding of up to £4,500/€5,000 to help with expert advice," he said.

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"We would also draw their attention to the challenges and opportunities of new technology... while not losing sight of the elephant in the room which is Brexit, InterTradeIreland is also focused on helping SMEs innovate," he added.

Belfast Telegraph