Small Businesses Prepare for a Double-Dip Recession

22 August 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Small Businesses Prepare for a Double-Dip Recession

The very real prospect of a global double-dip recession alongside concerns of another banking credit crunch to the background of complete inability on behalf of European leaders to address sovereign debt problems have done little to aid Irelandís fiscal prospects. Indeed, debt problems have stretched worldwide causing stock markets to capitulate in global sell-offs to a scale which hasnít been witness since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers. However, in this global picture, where do Irelandís small businesses fit in?

Last week proved to be optimistic regarding the pace of an Irish recovery, but this outlook can easily be swayed given our dependence on exports in the face of a global slump.

The apprehension of harder times ahead is not good for small businesses and a new survey by the Small Firms Association (SFA) has shown that companies are taking measures to brace against uncertain futures.

SFA have revealed that more than three-quarters of small businesses across the country are continuing to implement pay freezes this year. In 2008, the financial crash triggered a wave of pay cuts and freezes across virtually all kinds of Irish companies, so it seems businesses are taking early measures in the face of financial turmoil this time round.

That said, some multinationals have resumed 'normal service' by lifting pay freezes, however the latest SFA survey shows 76% of small firms have frozen salaries this year, and 68% expect the freeze to endure into 2012.

7% of companies surveyed by SFA have cut pay this year , whilst 3% of all respondents said they were expecting to cut pay by the same amount again in 2012.

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