Business Poll

Business Poll: So this year's coming to a close - but how is 2015 looking?

Is it going to be a bumper year or is trade still in the doldrums?

THE YEAR IS racing towards an end and it has been one filled with mostly good news for the Irish economy after years of recession and austerity.

But how are things looking in the future for the country’s all-important small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, which represents about 99% of all Irish businesses?

Last month’s InterTradeIreland survey, which came from interviews with 750 SMEs across the island of Ireland, found 45% of firms were in growth mode in the 3 months to the end of September, up from 26% for the same time last year.

Some 43% of SMEs said they were holding steady while the remaining 12% had their business shrink.

Meanwhile, an October survey from the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) found business confidence and expectations were running on a high.

However, a separate poll revealed business sentiment towards the government and banks was still deep in negative territory, although it had been improving over the year.

That came a few weeks before the government delivered its Budget for 2015, which included an improved tax break for research and development, and general tax cuts for workers, although higher levies for the self-employed were left in place.

In’s own poll after the financial roadmap was laid out, it appeared most businesspeople were left nonplussed – with nearly half of all respondents believing they would be the same or slightly worse off after the Budget.

But now, as more positive signs flow for the broader Irish economy, we want to know: How are things looking for your business in 2015?

Poll Results:

Slightly better (902)
About the same (758)
Much better (533)
Slightly worse (222)
Much worse (197)

This month, as part of’s ongoing SME focus, we will be looking back on 2014 – and throwing forward to the year ahead. If you know a noteworthy business which has launched this year or an established one which has made a big splash, get in contact with the author below.

Originally published 4 December

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