Saturday 21 September 2019

'If we want success, we need to be offering innovative products'


Martin McVicar of Combi Lift. Photo: Sunpix
Martin McVicar of Combi Lift. Photo: Sunpix Newsdesk

Martin McVicar, company director of a forklift-manufacturing company, wanted to see more resources put into helping company research and development in the Budget.

But overall, Mr McVicar (45) - whose firm, Combilift, based in Gallinagh, Co Monaghan, exports almost all of its products - thought the Budget was a positive one for business.

And he cautiously welcomed the introduction of a €300m Brexit loan fund for businesses, but said he would like to see more details on it. "My first impression is that €300m is not a huge amount for companies dealing with what could be the worst from Brexit," he said.

"We need to know more detail. I would like to know who will administer it, what are the criteria to apply."

A lot of people felt that the agri-food business would be most affected by Brexit, he added, but manufacturing companies would also be heavily affected.

Regarding a small increase to employer contributions to the National Training Fund, he would like to see some of those resources go to helping company apprenticeship programmes.

Mr McVicar wanted to see more investment in helping companies with their research and development costs, as it was important for Irish manufacturers to stay ahead of their competitors.

"From a manufacturing point of view, if an Irish company wants to be successful, we need to be offering more innovative products," he said.

He welcomed the announcement of the Key Employee Engagement Programme, which will make it more advantageous for companies to offer share options to employees. "From an employee retention perspective, anything that makes it easier for companies to issue shares to their employees is a good thing."

Irish Independent

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