Indigenous businesses are losing out on opportunities to grow because the lack of housing and infrastructure in Ireland is making it impossible to compete for talent, the CEO of Chambers Ireland will tell an Oireachtas Committee on Wednesday.
Businesses are fit for growth, but they are constrained by the lack of talent, the lack of housing, the lack of infrastructure,” Chambers chief executive Ian Talbot will say in his opening statement to the Enterprise Committee.
“We are growing as an economy, but we are not growing at the pace we could grow. Our domestic market has been constrained by this lack of housing.”
Mr Talbot’s statement says that Chambers members are reporting they are busy but are being forced to “leave opportunities on the table because they do not have the capacity to take on more work”.
He compares the situation of domestic SMEs to the Irish units of multinationals which are becoming less competitive for internal investments to expand because they cannot even meet their existing employment targets due to difficulties sourcing labour.
“Business owner-operators can have confidence in themselves, they can have confidence in their business model, they can have confidence in their staff, but it is increasingly difficult for them to have confidence in the economic environment which they are trying to operate their business within,” Mr Talbot’s statement says.
We need politicians and officials to deliver on them, for everyone
“Planning has become an issue for businesses because it is an issue which the businesses cannot directly address. We need politicians and officials to deliver on them, for everyone.”
The statement outlines the challenges small employers face trying to keep staff who need higher wages to afford housing and must move frequently to stay ahead of rising costs.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said: “We look forward to discussing the concerns of organisations representing SMEs and how best to address the issues facing them.”
“While much focus is on multinational companies and foreign direct investment, our domestic enterprise and SME sector is often overlooked despite making a huge contribution and employing people all over Ireland at every level.”