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Late payment from customers is the 'biggest challenge' for businesses

A new survey also found that Irish businesses in the UK are outperforming their UK counterparts in a number of areas.

Image: Handing over money image via Shutterstock

A NEW SURVEY has revealed that the biggest challenge facing businesses in Ireland and the UK at the moment is late payment from customers.

The survey, conducted by the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), found that 56 per cent of respondents feel that payment from customers had a mild or very negative affect on their business.

Chairman if the IIBN Dublin chapter, Niall Fenton , said that late payment from customers is “slowing down business development across the UK and Ireland.”

“The British Government is currently considering fining companies who do not settle invoices on time,” he said. “I’m sure this is a policy that would be welcomed by many small and medium enterprises throughout Ireland.”

Despite concerns about payment, most businesses are are feeling more confident with 64 per cent reporting either a mild or significant increase in turnover and gross profits in the last year.

83 per cent of businesses also expect to see an increase in profit over the next twelve months.

When compared it appears that Irish business people in the UK outperformed their Irish counterparts at home in terms of customer demand (81 per cent in UK to 71 per cent in Ireland). They also reported a marginal advantage in their ability to expand into new areas (65 per cent in UK to 64 per cent in Ireland) in the past 12 months.

This may be related to greater access to capital in the UK, IIBN said. Almost 40 per cent of respondents in Ireland claimed a lack of access to capital impacted negatively on their business compared to only 26 per cent of respondents in the UK.

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