State's €4m injection to create 500 jobs in small firms
Around 500 jobs are to be created in small companies due to last-minute funding of almost €4m from the Government.
The companies benefiting typically have 10 employees or fewer, but the extra funding will help them to hire new staff. They include childcare companies, pharmaceutical companies and small manufacturing companies.
The single biggest funding allocation outside of Dublin is going to Donegal, which is getting €340,000 to create 57 jobs. Voters in the county rejected the Children referendum amid claims that it was being ignored by the Government.
Overall, €3.8m in extra funding for job creation is being provided to city and county enterprise boards by the Department of Jobs. The money came from the €61m in unspent funds in its capital budget.
Junior Minister for Small Business John Perry said it would help to set up new local companies or expand those who were already in business.
"It is well-established that a huge proportion of jobs in this country are held in small, local enterprises. These companies are the lifeblood that is playing a key role in helping to restore our economy to a healthier footing," he said.
So far this year, the 35 city and county enterprise boards have been given €15m in funding.
The Government is planning to merge all 35 city and county enterprise boards into local authorities with the aim of creating a "one-stop shop" where entrepreneurs can quickly get all the information they need.
But the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association is opposing the plan, arguing that local authorities do not have the "same ethos or experience of dealing with small business".