Radical changes are needed in finance, taxation and public procurement in order to increase employment in the small business sector, Small Firms Association (SFA) chairman AJ Noonan has said.
Speaking in advance of the SFA annual national conference, which takes place in Dublin today, Mr Noonan said small businesses are starved of working capital and long-term finance.
“Government interventions such as the Microfinance loan fund and the seed capital scheme, are welcome in addressing market failures, but have failed utterly on implementation.”
Calling for a reform of capital gains tax for entrepreneurs with the introduction of a 20 per cent CGT rate to make it competitive with the UK offering, he said taxation on capital and work is “too high and completely out of sync with competitor economies”.
Mr Noonan said entrepreneurship is alive and well, but must be nurtured and developed with a renewed focus from both agencies and government.
Mr Noonan will address more than 300 delegates at the conference,where he is expected to highlight SFA’s spring business sentiment survey, which shows an improvement in small business sentiment.
“The survey indicates that the economy is growing, that business performance is encouraging and companies are looking to the future with an increasing sense of optimism,” he said.
In relation to employment, the survey shows employee numbers were maintained or increased in 93 per cent of respondents and productivity was maintained or improved in 96 per cent of cases.