Robert Troy, has welcomed the publication of the Programme for Government saying that Fianna Fáil has ensured that the future viability of SMEs has been put to the fore in the business policies of the next Government.
Deputy Troy explained, “This Programme for Government, if implemented, will play a vital role in rebooting the economy and getting people back to work.
“From the beginning of this public health emergency I recognised the severity it’s impact would have on the SME sector and thankfully, my proposals on COVID-19 business supports will now be examined along with the implementation of an SME taskforce and the prioritisation of insurance reforms. “It’s clear to see that Ireland has lagged behind our European neighbours when it comes to supports for businesses. We need to up our game to ensure that those who had to close as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak can get back to work as quickly as possible.
“Importantly, the PfG provides for a July Stimulus Package to increase domestic demand and employment. This fund will drive strategic change through SME’s, accelerate job creation and deliver balanced regional growth.
“The establishment of sectoral taskforces is something which I have long called for in respect of COVID-19 and they are badly needed as our country reopens.
“I am glad the PfG commits to addressing the anomalies in the Government Restart Grant and to considering further grant supports for SME’s.
“The uncertainty surrounding commercial rates will also be clarified and businesses will know where they stand for the remainder of 2020. This along with the creation of a code of conduct between landlords and tenants will provide stability for businesses.
“Supporting businesses as we exit lockdown is an immediate priority but this PfG provides for a National SME Growth plan that will map out an ambitious long-term strategic blueprint beyond COVID-19.
“We want to increase remote, flexible and hub working arrangements to promote a better quality of life. Something which is endorsed by both CEOs and employees alike. “We will also expand the role of Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) so that they can further support local job creation and train Irish indigenous SME’s so that they can compete for public procurement contracts domestically and internationally.
“This PfG not only offers short-term proposals to save businesses from the impact of COVID-19 but also longer-term solutions to ensure their future viability. I believe it is important we have a stable Government in place to implement then,” concluded Deputy Troy.