Galway’s businesses are optimistic about their overall prospects for the current quarter, but over four fifths of them believe that traffic congestion in Galway is having a negative effect on business according to survey carried out by Galway Chamber at the end of June.
Almost 50 per cent of businesses believe that their income will increase in the quarter (July-September 2018 ) and over 40 per cent plan to take on more staff in the period while just under a third plan to re-invest in their businesses.
On the other hand, almost 50 per cent foresee that their costs will also increase in the current quarter.
When these four factors are combined into an index of business sentiment for Galway, they show that overall the outlook is positive reaching a score of +6.08 on a scale which goes from minus 50 to plus 50.
Businesses cautioned that attracting and retaining staff is proving a challenge with over 60 per centsaying that they had difficulty in this area in the last quarter.
When asked to identify the top local issues facing business right now the overwhelming biggest problem is – not surprisingly – traffic congestion with over 80 per centsaying that it was having a ‘somewhat negative’ of ‘very negative’ effect on them.
This was followed by recruitment of staff and parking in Galway city or suburbs.
Speaking at the launch of Galway’s Business Barometer, President of Galway Chamber, Dave Hickey, said that this is the first of its quarterly reports on business sentiment among members, and it shows that their overall outlook for the current quarter is generally positive.
‘We’re not surprised that traffic congestion is the biggest local issue for business by far. Galway is being strangled slowly by its traffic problems and we are again calling on government to ensure that the Galway Transportation strategy is funded from 2019 onwards.
“We also want Galway City Council to engage immediately with the public and businesses on the detailed plans for the implementation of the strategy,” he said.
The survey was carried out in late June amongst Galway Chamber’s 400 members. 112 responses were received.
Further details from the survey will be released in the coming weeks.