Posted: Mon 26th Sep 2022
It’s Budget week, and Ireland is bracing itself in the hope of some positive news to help us all through the winter of high heating bills and overall rising costs.
Small businesses are being significantly affected by the rising costs so any ease in the Budget will be welcomed.
We got in touch with some of our Enterprise Nation members to ask them what challenges they are facing in business at the moment, and what their hopes and dreams are for the Budget announcement.
What are your ‘hopes and dreams’ for the Budget this week?
A cost-of-living package would help in consumer confidence. Currently, it seems that consumers are not spending as much because they are worried about the winter ahead. As a result, many small businesses have experienced slower growth or no growth at all – Cathal Sheridan founder of Huku Balance.
I’d like to see some revision of taxation around entrepreneurship and a provision of more incentives to set up successful and even unsuccessful businesses. It’s a core requirement for a successful economy and given the largesse we have shown to banks in the past, it would be good to create a circular economy around enterprise. There’s a tendency for successful entrepreneurs to give back and that should be encouraged. Tax levels on capital gains are too high but given the current environment I’m not hopeful – Paddy McDermott, director at Baxnmax Ltd.
I’d like to see discounts on electricity bills right now not at the end of the year and I would like to see real grants with no conditions for any small business. For example, a grant to help business owners pay for membership of networks that will help businesses refer business to each other, a grant for PR, marketing or training, and grants for events that business owners would like to attend.
The dream would be a helpline for small businesses so they can talk to someone who has been there, can advise etc or simply just listen – Samantha Kelly, founder of Tweeting Goddess.
Everyone, including myself, is concerned about the increasing costs of living and in particular the rising energy costs – I’d like to see is a similar approach to what the UK are doing to cut energy costs for businesses and households by introducing price caps.
I've seen too many news stories about small businesses in particular who are already struggling and I hope that the government will be able to put the necessary supports in place to keep Irish businesses afloat. Although it's unrealistic I would love to see measures taken to reduce VAT akin to the relief during the pandemic where we saw a reduction to 21% VAT. My focus is on keeping my business going so I'm particularly interested in any measures to protect small businesses – Sheelin Conlon, founder of The Kind.
I will be hoping for some electricity bill help. I know it’s what the whole country is concerned about, and what we could be in for over the next few months – Lisa Daly, founder of This Is You.
What challenges are you facing in your business at the moment?
Investing in growth. R&D is expensive and we currently do not spare the cash flow to spend time developing new products. Access to mentorship would help us access R&D credits – Cathal Sheridan, founder of Huku Balance.
Business has been hit hard this year with inflation, supply chain issues, rising energy prices and I'm still dealing with challenges around Brexit almost two years on. Online retail has seen a sharp decline this year and getting access to funding is tougher than ever with companies like Clearco exiting the Irish market.
With the market being so uncertain and the cost of living and rent at extortionate levels, I've had to take every measure possible to reduce my overheads to ensure that my business can survive. Without doubt this year has been the hardest year for me in business and I hope the Budget brings some good news and relief to myself and others – Sheelin Conlon, founder of The Kind.
The price of materials has absolutely gone through the roof so this is the most devastating to me as a small business at the moment. Also the shipping costs from abroad. It is hard to see how it will all pan out but will stay positive for now – Lisa Daly, founder of This Is You.
Let's hope we all get good news for small Irish businesses when the Budget is presented to Dáil Éireann on Tuesday 27 September 2022.