Island of Ireland SMEs Trading Across Ireland/NI Border Outperforming Those That Don’t
Data from InterTradeIreland’s latest Business Monitor survey for Q2 2022 reveals companies that export across the Ireland/Northern Ireland border are outperforming companies that do not, with 41 per cent enjoying rapid to moderate expansion. This is almost double compared to non-cross border traders (21 per cent).
InterTradeIreland is a cross-border Government funded organization that helps small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland explore new cross-border markets.
The organization’s latest Business Monitor survey shows that over three quarters of cross border traders (78 per cent) describe themselves as profitable compared to 51 per cent of firms that do not sell into the opposite jurisdiction.
Martin Robinson, Director of Strategy at InterTradeIreland, says that this is a recurring trend the business development body has tracked over the last six quarterly surveys.
In a statement from the organization, he said, ‘Despite the challenges SMEs face, on the whole, cross-border trade remains remarkably robust with a higher percentage of companies who export cross border reporting profitability, growth and increased sales compared to their non-cross-border trading counterparts.’
‘Recent data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that cross-border trade in goods reached €7.65 billion in 2021 and continues to increase. In January-May 2022, Irish import trade with Northern Ireland has risen by another €356 million and Irish exports to Northern Ireland have risen by €586 million, compared to the same period in 2021.’
On the whole, the latest figures from InterTradeIreland’s Business Monitor show that despite the unprecedented impact of rising costs, business performance overall is holding steady for now, with 83 per cent of companies across the island of Ireland in stable or growth mode, on a par with last quarter’s results of 85 per cent.
There is a note of caution however for the leisure, hotel and catering sector which has experienced a more challenging time than most, with 42 per cent now experiencing a drop in sales compared to 23 per cent last quarter.
As expected, rising costs dominate business challenges once again as energy prices and overheads continue to be the top two issues impacting businesses, as they have been over the past six months.
The impact of Brexit and Covid-19 appears to have declined as companies continue to adapt. However, almost half of businesses now cite a difficulty in recruitment of appropriate skills as a key issue.