Bord Bia is offering one-to-one coaching sessions with financial experts to small food businesses.
Eileen Bentley, a small business manager with Bord Bia, said small business owners were increasingly pointing to the lack of availability of credit as one of the key barriers to growth in today's market.
She urged small food businesses to put their names forward for the financial coaching sessions, which are available under the Bord Bia Vantage Plus programme.
Speaking at the Small Business Seminar recently, Bank of Ireland's head of small business and agriculture, Michael Lauhoff, said banks had money to lend to SMEs, but that they needed small business owners to help them see the possibilities of new markets and future business growth.
Mr Lauhoff advised business owners that proposals to the bank tended to rely too much on historical accounting figures and not enough on what the business actually did and how it added value.
He encouraged regular (quarterly) communication between business owners and their banks. He added that fundamental to any proposal to the bank should be a clear demonstration that the business has the ability to service the debt and that there is an acceptable level of risk in the proposition. To do this, a credible business plan is essential for any small food business.
Small businesses keen to seek advice from a financial consultant on finance issues facing their companies should contact Deirdre Shannon at email@example.com to arrange a one-to-one mentoring session.