Pearse Doherty has warned that permanent loss of jobs could be in store if more direct financial support is not provided to small businesses.
Deputy Doherty today repeated his call for a more ambitious recovery package for SMEs during Covid-19; including direct grants, an extension of the commercial rates break and zero-interest loans.
The Sinn Fein TD criticised the Restart Grant which opened today as only businesses with rateable premises can apply. Grants will be worth between €2,000 and €10,000.
“For so many businesses, this falls far short of the support they need to survive this crisis and reopen,” Doherty TD said.
“I wrote to the Minister for Finance and Minister for Business Enterprise & Innovation on May 13th calling on further supports to be rolled out for small businesses through direct grants, an extension of the commercial rates break and zero interest loans.
“As ISME, IBEC and others have noted, this Government is lagging far behind other European countries in its financial support package for SMEs.
“Take up in its loan schemes has been extremely low while the grants provided in today’s Restart Fund are too small. The Government has been slow to act and done too little to support small businesses.
“The consequences of their inaction could be severe, with tens of thousands of jobs permanently lost.”
Doherty added: “Fine Gael has done little to support our SMEs in their 9 years in power. Their refusal to provide adequate financial supports to the SME sector now risks their very survival.”