Next 200 shows the backbone of Northern Ireland’s economy remains strong

Writing in these pages a year ago, we believed the operating environment in 2020 had been one of the most challenging for businesses.

The past year has offered little respite from the Covid-19 pandemic, but given their inherent resilience and tenacity, businesses in Northern Ireland have once again dug deep against all odds. tides. The KPMG Global CEO report released in the fall of 2021 showed that 72% of chefs in Northern Ireland were optimistic about the prospects for local growth, up sharply from 44% in 2020.

This year’s Next 200 list reflects that optimism, with every business playing its part in keeping Northern Ireland’s economy running, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Next 200 cohort collectively saw their sales increase by 1.4% and profits by 4%, an impressive result by any measure, but even more impressive considering the headwinds the companies have faced over the past two years. last years. These numbers are important to Northern Ireland’s economy given that the majority of businesses on the list are indigenous or genuinely based in the province, support a host of other supply businesses and employ a staggering number of 42,000 people.

As of this writing, the crisis in Ukraine is on everyone’s mind and our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine as their lives are turned upside down by the ongoing war. Apart from the humanitarian impact, the economic ramifications are already being felt, driving up energy and food prices, exacerbating supply chain constraints and adding to inflationary pressure for businesses and consumers alike. ‘North Ireland.

Additionally, the tight labor market means that many companies are struggling to find talent, while companies of all sizes must also consider ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) and race to the expectations of customers and suppliers.

Against this backdrop, it is clear that 2022 will present businesses in Northern Ireland – including the Next 200 – with even more challenges. However, the backbone demonstrated by these companies over the past two years has proven their ability to blaze a trail through some of the toughest circumstances and face whatever comes their way.

In the meantime, congratulations to the companies that made the Next 200 list.

Johnny Hanna is a partner in charge of KPMG in Northern Ireland

Pat R. Madsen