SFA call for urgency in supporting small businesses

April 17, 2024
  • Small Firms Association publishes its Policy Priorities Document Ahead of Busy Election Period.
  • PRSI rebate required combat spiralling business costs.
  • Small Businesses are defined as having fewer than 50 employees.
  • 43 percent of employees in Ireland work in small businesses.

Wednesday, 17th April 2024 – The Small Firms Association (SFA), the leading representative body of Ireland’s small businesses, has published its policy priorities document ahead of the forthcoming Local / European Elections. Forty three percent of employees in Ireland work in companies with fewer than fifty employees, according to the most up-to-date data from the Central Statistics Office. The SFA is calling on decisive action from the Harris administration amid spiralling business costs.

The policy document focusses on four key pillars aimed at creating better conductions for businesses to survive and grow. They are; tackling business costs, easing the tax burden, upskilling for the 21st Century and enabling prosperity through better national infrastructure. Among the key request for the new administration are the introduction of a PRSI rebate to assist small businesses with the transition towards the Living Wage rates.

Furthermore, the SFA calling for a reduction in Capital Gains Tax rate from 33 percent to 20 percent and wants a introduce a National Training Voucher Scheme, which has the potential to boost in-company training and widen participation in upskilling and reskilling employees.

David Broderick, Director of the Small Firms Association said:

“With a significant proportion of people working for small businesses, the Small Firms Association wants swift action from Government. Many small and viable businesses are struggling to manage costs arising from high energy costs, supply chain challenges and fluctuating commodity prices. The most challenging issue is the new national minimum wage rate coupled with incoming Living Wage rate are lowering the shutters to businesses across the country. Retail and hospitality businesses are particularly vulnerable at this time, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Small businesses account for 98 per cent of the total number of businesses in Ireland, employing nearly half of the private sector workforce. Small businesses are the beating heart of communities across the county. I was encouraged by recent statements by Taoiseach Simon Harris about his administration’s renewed focus to help small businesses. I hope his administration will follow through on its commitment to help small businesses as a matter of urgency.”


Note to Reader:

  • The Small Firms Association proudly represents a diverse membership of businesses with less than 50 employees: homegrown and spanning every sector of the economy with members found in every town and every city in Ireland.
  • The SFA Policy Priorities Document can be found to download on this page. Also on this page you can find the audio of David's interview this morning on the Newstalk Breakfast with Joe Lynam.

For more information and interviews on the document and the priorities highlighted by the SFA, please contact SFA Public Affairs Lead, Jonathan McDade (jonathan.mcdade@sfa.ie).

SFA Director, David Broderick, talked to Joe Lynam this morning on Newstalk Breakfast about SFA's newly published Policy Priorities. Listen to the audio below.