World Economy

Irish Businesses Have $4.5b Debt

Irish Businesses Have $4.5b DebtIrish Businesses Have $4.5b Debt

Irish businesses are owed an estimated €4 billion-plus (over $4.5 billion) in overdue payments–and the problem is putting thousands of small- and medium-sized operators out of business, NewsNow reported. A new Interface Financial Group survey of 2,500 SMEs has also revealed that more than one-third of respondents were forced to lay off staff and nearly half needed to delay their own payments to suppliers because of overdue sums. The average amount outstanding, according to those polled, was nearly €23,000. Based on the most-recent figures for the number of active business in Ireland, that puts the total owed to the sector at more than €4 billion. IFG president David Banfield, whose company provides short-term funding to businesses, said late payments were “an almost systemic issue in Ireland”, and it was a problem that affected the whole economy. “Over the course of the economic downturn it became normal practice. Unfortunately, it has remained that way,” he said.