Irish businesses positive for the next 12 months

The study showed a total of 74 per cent of businesses surveyed are fairly or very positive about their prospects this year, a significant increase in optimism from 61 per cent in 2015. There is a corresponding drop in negative outlook to just 5 per cent from 13 per cent last year.

The research was carried out among 540 businesses across eight regional authority areas in January 2016. The research encompassed a broad range of enterprises in the survey ranging, from micro businesses with 1-9 people employed right up to businesses with 250 people or more.

CEO of Magnet Mark Kellett, who commissioned the research, said: “The positive outlook is welcome but what is particularly striking is the high amount of businesses that plan to open new premises in 2016. Opening new premises involves a real commitment to continue growing your business which is a healthy indicator for the wider economy.”

“As you would expect, there are ongoing issues and challenges also worth noting as an election looms. Most decision makers still believe the Government could do more to assist SMEs, in particular to help reduce the costs of running a business,” he said.

Reducing business costs was the single most cited response needed by the Government, according to 21% of respondents to the survey. The survey also revealed a lack of awareness by small businesses of the range of grants that may be available to them.