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5 Biggest Risks for Irish Businesses in 2024

risks for Irish business

Cyberattacks, supply chain failure, and economic uncertainty are among top concerns and risks for Irish businesses according to surveys. 

Renowned for its vibrant economy and welcoming business environment, Ireland has emerged as a top destination for entrepreneurs and corporations alike. However, Irish business landscape is not carefree with local entrepreneurs facing risks and expressing certain concerns about the future of their brainchildren.

As a company formation agent, we analysed the 5 biggest risks and challenges that await businesses in 2024 suggesting ways on how to overcome the concerns and run a thriving Irish enterprise.

risks for Irish businesses

Climate Change and Natural Disasters

One-third (33%) of Irish companies see climate change and natural disasters as significant challenges to their businesses. 

Climate change significantly affects businesses of all sizes, with impacts varying based on industry, location, and vulnerability. These effects, both direct and indirect, include weather changes, coastal and oceanic shifts, and alterations in natural and built environments. Direct impacts like physical damage from floods or fires and forced closures can be devastating. Indirect impacts, such as supply chain disruptions, operational difficulties and related reduced income also pose significant challenges. 

Tight Labour Market

According to a comprehensive survey conducted by Peninsula Ireland, a staggering 45% of businesses express concern over the shortage of labour within their respective industries. The competition for acquiring talent is particularly acute in sectors such as technology and skilled labour. Furthermore, employee retention emerges as a significant concern, with 41% of businesses apprehensive about the potential loss of valuable staff.

Another survey conducted by Cork Chamber, 64% of Irish businesses experienced skills gaps during the Q4 of 2023 and expect skills shortages to continue over 2024.

Addressing this challenge necessitates innovative talent acquisition and retention strategies, fostering an attractive work environment, and investing in employee development to build a resilient and committed workforce. 

Economic Uncertainty

The spectre of a global economic slowdown looms large, presenting a nuanced risk landscape for Irish businesses, especially those with a heavy reliance on exports. The European Central Bank’s interest rate hikes could potentially curtail investment flows and consumer spending, thereby impacting revenue streams. Additionally, the political landscape, particularly the uncertainties surrounding the upcoming Irish general election, could have profound implications for business confidence.

Supply Chain or Distribution Failure

Supply chain or distribution failure jumped to the 3rd biggest risk for Irish firms, according to Aon’s Global Risk Management Survey. The ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with geopolitical tensions such as war in Ukraine, and conflict in the Middle East have significantly disrupted global supply chains. Irish businesses face heightened risk due to an increased reliance on single-source suppliers, often a consequence of cost-containment strategies. Building resilience in supply chains — through diversification of suppliers, investment in logistics technology, and developing contingency plans — is paramount to mitigate these risks.

Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity emerges as the foremost concern in the Aon survey, underscoring its prominence in the risk landscape of Irish businesses. An overwhelming 94% of companies in Ireland are actively engaged in implementing or reviewing their cybersecurity strategies, reflecting the acute awareness of this threat. The ongoing digital transformation across industries amplifies the vulnerability to cyberattacks, necessitating sustained and robust investment in cybersecurity infrastructure. Companies must adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity framework that encompasses not only technological solutions but also employee training and awareness to safeguard against the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

risk for irish businesses - cyberattack

To sum up, while the Ireland remains a hub for businesses aiming at growth and opportunity, the challenges of climate change, a tight labor market, economic fluctuations, supply chain fragility, and the ever-looming shadow of cyber threats are key concern factors. Chern & Co teams believes that armed with the right strategies and an unwavering commitment to resilience, Irish businesses are well-positioned to continue their tradition of economic success, transforming challenges into catalysts for advancement and prosperity.

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