Government announce €3m funds to help small businesses
The Government has announced two funds worth a combined €3m to help small and medium businesses (SMEs) improve productivity.
Both funds will be operated through Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).
The main fund is worth €2.5m. LEOs will compete for money on behalf of their local companies.
Projects submitted for funding should focus on the priority areas identified in Future Jobs Ireland, and the Regional Enterprise Plans, such as innovation, Brexit readiness, and market diversification.
The second scheme is worth €500,000. This is aimed at businesses that are not currently LEO clients.
Money will be used to address productivity gaps. It will also incorporate business opportunities in the green economy.
Minster for Business, Heather Humphreys, said: “As we work to boost productivity levels in our enterprise base, these new funds, combined with existing supports, will ensure that we can reach even the smallest business in the most rural area supporting micro-businesses right across the country will be central to our success.”
The announcement was made at a conference to discuss a draft roadmap for SME and entrepreneurship policy, which was prepared by the OECD for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
The funding was welcomed by Sven Spollen-Behrens of the Small Firms Association (SFA), who said it would support small business with their Brexit readiness and “enhance productivity by stimulating research and innovation and promoting lean business practices.”
“These funds are needed to address the lagging productivity of our domestic firms and reduce our increasing reliance on multinationals,” he added.