24th March 2016

Clare Businesses to get key insights for 2016 at Magnet/Chamber Breakfast

Mark Kellett Magnet Magnet

The challenges facing small and medium sized businesses operating in County Clare, how they view the future and how they are embracing new technology is the subject of a networking breakfast hosted by cloud telecoms provider Magnet in the Inn at Dromoland on Wednesday the 13th of April.

The nationwide study of over 500 SMEs by Amárach Research that investigates business, economic, political and technological sentiment and is the 2nd Regional Business Barometer.  The Regional Business Barometer compares findings from across 8 regions in Ireland to understand the differences in SME activity from one region to the next.  From the findings businesses can understand whether other companies in their area are planning to grow, investing in IT, experiencing recruitment challenges, adopting technology and more.

Last year, the inaugural study, 73% of small firms in County Clare and the Mid-West were optimistic about the future, with 1 in 10 planning to open new premises in 2015; in 2016 this jumped to 1 in 3.  Firms were urged to become more active in availing of Government supports, with 82% unaware of the technology and business grants available.  Warnings of the cost of not embracing cloud technology were also revealed, as it came to light that only 30% of small firms in the Mid-West had implemented a cloud solution of some kind for their business.

Gap in SME Voice in Ireland

Small and medium enterprises are the lifeblood of any economy, yet they tend to operate in the shadow of larger companies.  In fact, with foreign direct investment such a key driver of the Irish economy, the SME voice here is probably less audible than in other countries despite start-ups delivering 2 out of every 3 new jobs.  Of course, SMEs are not just important because of the volume of jobs they account for; it’s the nature of that employment – spread across the country, that it’s community-based and that it’s indigenous.  The second Magnet Regional Business Barometer, in recognition of this, aims to give policymakers and others an insight into what the 180,000 firms that make up our SME community are thinking, and how they can be supported better, on a regional basis.

Rita Mc Inerney, CEO of Ennis Chamber said: “Magnet’s study is one of the largest pieces of SME research in the country, so we’re delighted to be able to present the findings relevant to businesses here in Ennis. As well as great networking opportunities, the event will enable those attending to gain an understanding of how others are adapting to the economic and technological challenges that exist for businesses in the regions.”  Speaking of the research Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet (photo attached) said: “With a significant upturn in the economy in 2015 it’s really interesting to see how this has permeated into the regions. For the first time we’re able to compare attitudes year-on-year and see if businesses have followed through on some of the plans voiced last year.”

Magnet’s Office-in-a-Box solution for SMEs provides with an enterprise level phone system, unlimited broadband, phone calls, domain, hosting and internet security for €165.99 per month for up to 5 users.

*“The Outlook for SMEs”, a networking breakfast, takes place on Wednesday, April 13th, at 7:30am in The Inn at Dromoland.  Contact: for further details or to register, alternatively you can call (065) 684 2988.


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