8 in 10 small business owners did not have support network to prepare them for pandemic

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By George Morahan -02/04/2021 originally published in extra.ie

Around eight in 10 small business owners feel they did not have a support network that was suitably prepared for the pandemic, a 12-month analysis by non-profit business group Ireland Together has found.

The Ireland Together sentiment survey found that 85% of business leaders are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their business while 90% are worried about the pandemic’s effects on them personally.

Almost 80% of members said it was difficult for them to work effectively since the first lockdown, with additional strained coming from Level 5 restrictions, the closures of schools and realities of Brexit.

Pubs Hotels Restaurants
80% of SMEs feel they did not have the right support network before the pandemic. Pic: Getty Images

Ireland Together now has 1,400 members in its online community, with a further 1,300 businesses listed in their public directory of Irish businesses and retailers.

‘Despite the challenges facing Irish businesses over the past 12 months, our members remain confident in their skills and expertise,’ Ireland Together co-founder and COO Joanne Griffin. ‘Members have supported each other through rapid technology adoption, the revision of business models, and are navigating the changing business landscape together. ‘There is great value in the breadth and depth of the expertise we have as a collective body.  Together, there is really nothing we can’t achieve!’

Ireland Together has hosted 561 free events to over 4,018 participants and runs a 24/7 community chat forum with over 36 channels covering all areas of business.

The events and chat forums are aimed at supporting members as they deal with their evolving business challenges as well as addressing challenges with physical and mental health.

Ireland Together has hosted over 4,000 events in the past year. Pic: Getty Images

The sector-agnostic initiative’s members represent microbusinesses with 1-10 staff members (72%), with members from small (13%), medium (5%) and large (10%) businesses making up just over a quarter.

Founded by four Irish entrepreneurs Joanne Griffin, Colin Harris, Louise O’Conor and Mindi Caselden, Ireland Together facilitates the collective thinking, connection and collaboration of Irish businesses and professionals, making a difference in the lives of Irish business leaders.

Joanne Griffin

A former tech exec @ Linkedin, and a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years experience in leading finance, business transformation, intelligent automation and analytics. Joanne founded AdaptIQ to help individuals and companies thrive in an increasingly volatile landscape, by fostering an adaptable mindset, embracing ambiguity, and unlocking creativity. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of emerging technologies, crowdsourcing, and driving transformational change.

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