Ireland is a high cost location for small firms, according to Linda Barry, assistant director at the Small Firms Association (SFA).
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation yesterday, Ms Barry said that many SFA members were operating in low margin environments, making it difficult for them to absorb cost increases.
In addition, low inflation, alongside customers’ demand for value was making it impossible for many businesses to pass cost increases on to consumers, Ms Barry said.
Labour costs have been identified as the number one risk to small businesses over the coming year, with insurance costs and Local Authority rates also cited as causing great concern for small businesses.
“The Government has access to detailed data and expert analysis on all of these costs, in particular from the National Competitive Council,” Ms Barry told the committee.
The SFA, which has over 8,000 member companies, is calling on Government to create a stronger link between this information and policy decisions, to ensure that Government is not adding to cost pressures on small businesses.
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