Department launches website to help SMEs
THE Department of Finance has launched a one-stop shop website for small businesses to find out what support is available to them.
The website goes live this morning and will be launched by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
It comes after a survey of 2,000 firms found that managers at 98pc of companies admitted they didn't really know very much about what supports were available for them.
Mr Noonan said his department had collaborated with more than 100 small businesses on the project and the feedback had been overwhelmingly positive.
"In my Budget 2014 speech I announced an information campaign to increase the level of information available to SMEs," he said.
"The online search tool is a central element of this campaign and helps SMEs (small or medium enterprises) to access information on the over 80 government supports, totalling more than €2bn, currently available."
Businesses will be able to log on and determine which supports are available to them, get information on the range of government supports for accessing credit and be able to find their local enterprise office.
There are about 188,600 SMEs in Ireland, making up 99pc of our total companies .
The survey of SMEs, carried out in December, also found that 80pc thought that more information should be made available.
Information about grants was the biggest area of interest, while more than half of those who replied were interested in access to funds for business development and mentoring as well as information on skills and marketing.
The website can be found at www.localenterprise.ie/smeonlinetool