The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) jointly chaired the first meeting of the new SME and State Bodies Group. The meeting, which was also attended by Minister of State Damien English TD and Minister of State Robert Troy TD, focused on the July Stimulus Package.
The SME and State bodies group, which was set up under a commitment in the Programme for Government, includes the main national business organisations representing SMEs and a wide range of State bodies who are responsible for designing and distributing business supports.
The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the possible supports and interventions that Government can provide, which will have the most beneficial impact on small and medium businesses as our economy reopens.
The meeting heard contributions on the business side from Ibec, the Small Firms Association, ISME, Chambers Ireland, and SME Recovery Ireland, and also from a range of State bodies, including Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices, Fáilte Ireland, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, the Central Bank, Microfinance Ireland and the Credit Review Office.
Speaking after the meeting the Tánaiste said:
The July Stimulus Package will deliver a significant boost to businesses which are reopening after months of closure forced by the Covid19 emergency. We want to help small businesses in particular to navigate the months ahead, which will be challenging, and help get as many people as possible back to work. The July Stimulus will include enhanced direct grants to businesses and improved access to low cost loans. Today’s two-hour meeting was a valuable opportunity to hear directly from business groups and State Bodies on what’s needed to help Ireland’s recovery.
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said:
The business community and especially SMEs are a critical component of the Irish economy. I very much welcome and would like to thank the Business Representative Bodies for sharing their views with us today as Government continues to work on the Economic Stimulus Package which will be announced in the coming weeks. It is important that we work together to rebuild a strong resilient economy for all of our citizens.
Notes to Editor:
The SME and State Bodies Group is the first of a suite of new SME Groups envisaged by the Programme for Government – Our Shared Future, which will also see the establishment shortly of a new SME Growth Taskforce, and sectoral taskforces to be chaired by relevant line Ministers to focus on specific sectors of the economy.