03 May 2021
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (03 May 2022) published the results of the Frontier series on Business Signs of Life: Business Survival. Particular care must be taken when interpreting the statistics in a Frontier publication as it may use new methods which are under development and / or data sources which may be incomplete. The series has been created by the CSO to provide up to date information on how enterprises have survived during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This release, ‘Business Signs of Life Series Two: Business Survival, 2020 to 2021’, tracks the 2019 business population through the pandemic and splits enterprises into three categories: ‘Appears Closed’, ‘At Risk of Closing’ and ‘Still in Business’, using various administrative data sources.
Commenting on the results, Statistician, Sorcha O’Callaghan, said:
“The results show that of the enterprises with two or more persons engaged in 2019, 84% were estimated to be still in business at the end of 2021. Of the 1.5 million persons engaged in these enterprises in 2019, 1.4 million (94%) were associated with an enterprise that survived, while 2% were associated with an enterprise which appeared to be closed at the end of 2021 and almost 4% were associated with an enterprise at risk of closing.
The highest proportion of enterprises that appear closed were in the Real estate activities sector (10%) and the Accommodation & food service activities sector (9%).
More than one in ten (10.4%) enterprises trading pre-COVID-19 were at risk of closing at the end of 2021. The Other services activities sector, which includes gyms and hairdressers, had the highest proportion of enterprises which showed signs of being at risk of closing at 18%. This was followed by Construction (15%) and Accommodation & food service activities (14%). Restrictions during the pandemic had a significant impact on all these sectors.
Among enterprises in the micro size class (two-nine persons engaged) in 2019, 7% appeared closed at the end of 2021. This was followed by small enterprises (10-49 persons engaged) at 3%, medium enterprises (50-249 persons engaged) at 2% and large enterprises (250+ persons engaged) at just 0.5%.
Almost one in eight (12%) micro enterprises in 2019 were at risk of closing at the end of 2021. This was followed by almost 4% of small enterprises, whereas less than 2% of both large enterprises (1.5%) and medium enterprises (1.9%) were in this category.
Among the 653 large enterprises in 2019, 640 (98%) were still in business at the end of 2021. There were also more than nine in ten medium enterprises at 96% and small enterprises at 94% which survived at the end of 2021. Micro enterprises had an 81% survival rate.”
The population of enterprises in this publication refers to the 2019 Structural Business Statistics (SBS) population and excludes enterprises in Agriculture, Financial Services, Public Administration, Education, Human Health & Social Work, among others. Within this population, enterprises with less than two persons engaged have been excluded.
Since the enterprise population is based on the reference year 2019, any new enterprises that have commenced trading over the period 01 January 2020 to 31 December 2021 are not captured in this release. It should be noted that, while this release focuses on enterprise closures and survival, there is always churn in the business population that includes both enterprise births and deaths. While enterprises closed or became at risk of closing during the COVID-19 pandemic, new businesses have also started trading.
Sorcha O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5523
or email email@example.com
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