More supports needed for small businesses, SME group says

SME Recovery Ireland is seeking a dedicated Government minister for small business

‘Building a financially strong and resilient small business sector that can withstand shocks and have a stable base to grow and support the communities in which they operate will be fundamental to the success of the National Economic Recovery Plan,’ said chair of SME Recovery Ireland, John Moran.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘Building a financially strong and resilient small business sector that can withstand shocks and have a stable base to grow and support the communities in which they operate will be fundamental to the success of the National Economic Recovery Plan,’ said chair of SME Recovery Ireland, John Moran. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

A national agency dedicated to small businesses, the establishment of a rainy day fund to support SMEs and a simplified research and development tax credit regime are just some of the measures sought by an SME representative group in the upcoming budget.

SME Recovery Ireland is also seeking a dedicated Government minister for small business and a national resilience fund, its budget submission said.

The group wants the Government to establish an agency similar to Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to represent the interests of small businesses that do not export their goods and services. It is also asking the Government to come up with ways to incentivise businesses to set aside 1 per cent of annual revenue that could be used as a capital reserve to meet unexpected challenges.

The proposed resilience fund would support small businesses that have suffered a force majeure crisis, offering grant assistanceand administered by NTMA and capitalised using European Union recovery funding.

“Building a financially strong and resilient small business sector that can withstand shocks and have a stable base to grow and support the communities in which they operate will be fundamental to the success of the National Economic Recovery Plan,” said chair of SME Recovery Ireland, John Moran.

“While we commend the Government on its ambition to introduce such a plan, it is essential that the approach adopted is based on the need to reboot the entire SME sector and not merely smaller sub-sections of it. Although many are calling for industry specific actions, our Budget Submission outlines why pan-sectoral interventions through the right blend of policies are equally as important for establishing financial resilience and sustainability across the whole sector.”