Something to celebrate: Staff Christmas parties are a good sign for SMEs

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Nearly half of Irish SME owners will have staff Christmas parties this year. This marks an increase of 10 per cent compared with the same period last year.  The figures come from the in the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer survey.

Christmas parties cancelled during recession

“Christmas parties have fallen victim to the recession over the last few years. This noticeable increase is a positive sign that business confidence is picking up,” said managing director for Close Brothers
Commercial Finance (Ireland), Harry Parkinson.

“For many bosses, the annual Christmas party is significant as it is a chance to build relationships with staff and reward them for their hard work and loyalty throughout the year.”

“However, over the last number of years, many employers have been forced to cut back on any unnecessary expenditure and understandably staff entertainment is often first on the list.”

“Staff morale can make a real difference to a company’s bottom line. It’s great to see so many employers recognising this and treating their staff with festive celebrations this year.”

Improving trading conditions

The opinion poll of SME owners across the UK and Ireland also showed that 16 per cent of Irish firms are benefitting from current trading conditions. This is a rise of over 6 per cent on the previous quarter, suggesting that business confidence is also improving.

“It appears that the tide could be starting to turn for Irish SMEs. Our research suggests that many firms are making the most of the current economic climate with increasing numbers reporting an improvement in their trading conditions,” said Parkinson.

Anne Sexton

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