Tuesday 20 February 2018

Sherlock encourages SMEs to avail of government supports

More than 25 state bodies come together to answer questions and provide advice to small business owners and managers at Taking Care of Business event in Cork.

More than 25 state bodies come together to answer questions and provide advice to small business owners and managers at Taking Care of Business event in Cork.

Nearly 250 small business owners and managers attended the one-stop-shop event for SMEs, 'Taking Care of Business', in the Silver Springs Hotel, Cork last week.

"This Government is committed to growing our indigenous sector and the 'Taking Care of Business' events provides all our State bodies the opportunity to come together in one location to inform and advise on the vast array of information and supports they have available," said Minister of State for research and Innovation Sean Sherlock at the event.

"This is the fourth of such events and I am delighted that over 1,150 attendees have taken the opportunity to seek advice and assistance to help them start or grow their business and create the jobs this economy so badly needs".

Organised by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the event provided people thinking of starting a business and existing entrepreneurs with the information they need from across the public sector.

It brought together more than 25 State bodies in two strands with presentations in one area and information stands in a separate area. The information stands were manned throughout the event and presentations were made by 18 State organisations.

"Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-up businesses in the first five years of their existence, so it is essential for Government to support new businesses in order to grow employment," said Minister Sherlock.

"Creating new jobs is the top priority for the Government and this is why 2014 has been designated as the year for jobs. The recently launched Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes measures to continue the improvement in Ireland's competiveness, encourage entrepreneurship and improve access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises.

"It is vital that we build on the ability of Irish companies to succeed and grow, to underpin our future potential for jobs, growth and prosperity, and our potential to innovate and develop new markets. As the Taoiseach said at the launch of the Action Plan, "There can be no let-up in our efforts until we are back to full employment. Ambitious companies are the backbone of a healthy economy. We need growing companies. We need growing entrepreneurs with big ambitions and big visions.

"This ambition, this vision, the drive and innovation; these are the attributes that will determine the prosperity and quality of life in Ireland."

Sherlock said there are so many different sources of support and advice out there that sometimes we don't know which way to turn next. "Sometimes the exact support we need could be available and we just haven't found out about it yet."

With this in mind, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation set up a web Portal in 2012, called, to provide a quick and easy Table of Contents that people can use to find the information and advice that's available online.

Minister Sherlock highlighted one particular area where businesses could take immediate action. "The economic crisis has presented numerous difficulties for small businesses but in particular the challenge presented by late payments has proven to be enormously damaging," said Minister Sherlock.

"Every year across Ireland too many businesses go bankrupt waiting for their invoices to be paid. Yet late payment of bills is often seen by many as a perfectly acceptable practice. It is time to end this damaging culture of late payment in Ireland."

"The inability or the unwillingness of enterprises (and in some cases public authorities) to pay on time is having a severe effect on the business environment in Ireland. Any economic recovery will depend upon the business environment improving and payment culture within Ireland changing for the better," Sherlock added.


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