Call for submissions on lack of SME financing
THE Department of Finance has launched a public consultation process to solicit views on the lack of equity financing for small businesses.
Businesses and members of the public are invited to contribute their opinions on the issue, with a deadline of May 30.
Submissions will go to the newly formed "equity finance subgroup", which will prepare a report on the issue.
The lack of equity investment for SMEs is emerging as a significant blockage in the economy, particularly as things start to pick up and the demand for capital rises.
Earlier this month, the Irish Independent revealed the new working group was in the process of being established under the umbrella of the state-led Consultative Committee on SME Funding to look at equity investment in business.
It will examine ways to encourage investment such as potentially revitalising the old tax break-based Business Expansion Scheme, as well as the possibility of utilising funds from the National Pension Reserve Fund will also be on the table.
A debt-forgiveness scheme for SMEs battered by the crash will also be among proposals looked at by the group.
In a note calling for submissions, the Department of Finance said there was "a real need to increase the levels of equity investment in Irish SMEs, and that to date this strand of potential funding has been underutilised in Ireland".