78% of Irish SMEs Feel Confident About Borrowing as They Look to Expand in 2019
According to new SME research conducted by Bank of Ireland and Red C, 78% of Irish SMEs are confident in their ability to borrow if additional capital is required over the next twelve months, and almost one quarter (23%) already intend to borrow in the coming year. Just over one in three (34%) SMEs identified no change in their volume of borrowing in the last few years. While Brexit is a concern for 48%, along with staff recruitment and retention worries, 53% feel positive about the Irish economy in the next twelve months with more than half (57%) expecting turnover to grow.
As SMEs across the country look to grow – working capital, new machinery and equipment are cited as the top reasons for borrowing. Irish banks lead the way as the preferred option for SMEs looking to raise finance, with over 81% claiming they would consider Irish banks over the Credit Union or private investors.
Commenting on the research insights, Michael Lauhoff, Director of Business Banking for Bank of Ireland, said: “The research findings have shed interesting light on current borrowing habits and expectations of SMEs across the country. Interestingly, 60% of SMEs report using personal funds to invest in growth and business efficiencies over the past three years. Although the general sentiment towards the economy is positive among SMEs at present, indeed 53% are feeling optimistic about the state of the economy for 2019, it is important that business owners remember to engage in smart borrowing to grow their business while still maintaining sufficient reserves.
“As the number one bank for SMEs in Ireland we are committed to meeting customer needs, and enabling them to thrive at all stages of the business life cycle. In addition to SMEs gaining insights around financial discipline, achieving growth and greater returns and enabling efficiencies, the events will also examine the potential impact of Brexit and how best to prepare. Events will cover all sectors from manufacturing and agri, to retail and hospitality, and will feature spokespeople from a variety of businesses with different success stories.”
Pictured are Lorraine and Aiden Corcoran, owners of cosmetics manufacturing SME Cosmetic Creations, along with Joann Hosey, Director of Customer Delivery at Bank of Ireland.