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Time to tackle the anti-business lobby

Dear ‘colleagues in rolled up sleeves’,

It has been, without a doubt, the worst couple of years that any of us in business can remember. The good news though is that the economic winter is now truly over (unless those in charge choose to mess it up again) and we’re seeing more than green shoots as Ireland’s entrepreneurs get the country back to work again.

The recession saw a rise in anti-business sentiment, as if smaller businesses had any hand, act or part in the collapse of the economy. The truth is that those businesses and their owners suffered more than any other in the downturn, many thousands of them failing. At ISME we want to change that sentiment so that everyone, entrepreneur and employee, realises that what’s good for enterprise is good for the long term prosperity of the nation. Only a prosperous nation can afford better hospitals, schools and other essential State services.

That tiny but vocal group that promote the idea that business is in some way evil, peddle a failed philosophy that is not good for their country or their families. They nurture an old resentment of wealth and job creators and a suspicion of private markets, combined with an aversion to competition in the public sector.  It’s time to distil polemic fantasies from the economic facts because only facts are real.

It’s time for businesses to be heard again.

That’s why ISME is calling on all businesses, whether ISME members or not, to join us on Friday the 13th of November, at Dublin’s RDS, at what promises to be the biggest ISME Annual Conference in years. We want your voice to be heard, to show that there is real economic muscle amongst the 200,000 SME’s in Ireland, and their 830,000 employees, to demonstrate that Ireland is, once again, truly open for business. Your attendance is the realist’s form of so called ‘mass action’. Governments do eventually pay heed to large, vocal, numbers.

At the conference you’ll hear from world famous thought provoker, Charles Handy, as well as a slew of Irish businesses, from bricks and mortar to digital types. But most importantly, it is the best annual event, by a long shot, to network with similarly minded people, an opportunity to hear inspiring ideas that could transform your business, to find finance that has been like the leprechaun’s pot of gold in recent years. It’s your chance to show that business in Ireland really matters.

That’s why I want to extend a special welcome to those who may have been too busy for the last couple of years just trying to keep their businesses afloat, and who hadn’t the time, the cash or the inclination to go to the country’s best networking conference. Now is the time to join hundreds of Ireland’s most progressive companies and make your voice heard. Now is the time to book, because we are fast approaching a sell-out.

I look forward to seeing and meeting all of you there,

Mark Fielding, CEO, ISME