The InterTradeIreland All-Island Quarterly Business Monitor (April-June 2016) indicated that over 95% of businesses surveyed across the island have no plan in place to deal with the consequences of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Moreover, nearly one in five report that this uncertainty will lead to a decrease in their level or speed of investment.
Crucially, this uncertainty and degree of pessimism comes at a time when the wider economic and business back drop is very positive, with 90% of businesses reporting they are stable or growing. Encouragingly, also, is the result that almost two thirds of businesses on the island state that they have the ambition to grow in the immediate future.
In the meantime we encourage businesses to focus on the things they can control, such as:
1. Customer and Supplier Relationships
Focus on developing close value-adding partnership relationships with customers or suppliers that can endure potentially destabilising changes in pricing relationships.
2. Business Planning
Possessing a clear and concise plan for your business that identifies clear objectives, critical processes, threats and opportunities is a vital step to navigating uncertainty. Clearly this plan should be reviewed and adjusted on a regular basis.
In last year’s Budget, the Minister introduced an Earned Income Tax Credit of €550 for small business owners who cannot benefit from the PAYE tax credit of €1,650 available to employees. The Minister announced an increase in this credit to €950 for 2017.
The three lower USC rates have been reduced by 0.5%. Accordingly, all income earners will have a lower tax burden to varying degrees. The ceiling at which the 2.5% USC rate applies is increased to €18,772 – this ensures that a full-time worker on the minimum wage will remain outside the top rates of USC.
2. Minimum Wage
The higher cost to employers arising from the increase in the hourly minimum wage from €9.15 to €9.25 will take effect from 1st January 2017.
3. Entrepreneur relief
The standard rate of capital gains tax remains at 33%. However, the Minister announced a reduction to 10% in the capital gains tax rate that applies to disposals by Entrepreneurs of qualifying assets. Entrepreneur relief offers the reduced rate of capital gains tax on the disposal by an individual of business assets up to a lifetime limit of chargeable gains of €1 million. The Minister is to review this lifetime limit in future budgets.
To qualify for
Love them or hate them, there’s no denying Brussels sprouts are the ultimate Christmas vegetable. In fact, each Christmas, we munch our way through around 100 million sprouts, and a good chunk of that number is supplied by Anthony and Enda Weldon from their farm in North Dublin. Much like Santa’s elves, December means serious overtime for the Weldons – as they aim to ensure a serving of sprouts makes it onto dinner plates around Ireland. Read on to find out how they do it.
When it comes to sprouts, the Weldon brothers have a lot of pedigree. They’ve been growing them for decades. “The farm has been in the family for around four generations,” Anthony says. “It was traditionally vegetable and cereal growing, but it’s only in the last few decades we decided to concentrate on sprouts specifically.”
“They’re obviously originally from Brussels, but sprouts would have been grown in Ireland from the early part of the last century,” he explains. “My grandfather grew them and he was a young man in the 1916 Rising.”
Brussels sprouts will certainly be making an appearance in the Weldons’ Christmas spread. “I would eat them three times a week,” Anthony says. “The traditional way is
Here are some reasons not to skip this valuable tool and roadmap:
- It will define and focus your objective, using appropriate information and analysis.
- You can use it as a selling tool with lenders, investors, landlords and banks.
- Your business plan can uncover omissions and/or weaknesses in your planning process.
- You can use the plan to solicit opinions and advice.
Here is a checklist to help you get started:
- Write out your basic business concept.
- Gather all the data you can on the feasibility and specifics of your business.
- Focus and refine your concept.
- Outline the specifics using a “what, where, why, how” approach.
- Put your plan into a compelling format
Suggested topics you can tailor into your plan:
A Vision Statement: This will be a concise outline of your purpose and goal
The People: Focus on how your experiences will be applicable. Prepare a resume of yourself and each of your key people.
Your Business Profile: Describe exactly how you plan to go about your intended business. Stay focused on the specialized market you intend to serve.
Economic Assessment: Provide an assessment of the competition you can expect in your business.
Cash Flow Assessment: Include a one-year cash flow projection that will incorporate all your capital requirements. Try our cash flow planner to get started this year.