SFA welcomes minister's meeting with top bankers

The Small Firms Association has welcomed Enterprise and Innovation Minister Batt O'Keeffe's meeting with top bankers to discuss lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Small Firms Association has welcomed Enterprise and Innovation Minister Batt O'Keeffe's meeting with top bankers to discuss lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

SFA director Avine McNally said: "Any action or intervention which will ensure greater access to credit for viable SMEs is welcomed.

With one in five small businesses in Ireland not getting enough credit, we have a very serious problem, with potentially 50,000 small business closures and 160,000 jobs lost as a result."

The SFA Spring Business Sentiment Survey, shows that one-fifth of companies have seen the availability of working capital decrease in the last three months, with 13% indicating that investment finance availability has decreased.

The cost as well as access to finance, is also increasing as a problem for small businesses, with 15% of companies stating that the cost of working capital had increased for them in the last three months and the cost of investment finance having increased for 8% of respondent companies.

The Small Firms Association said it believes that the Mazars III report "further demonstrates that there is now clearly a market failure in the provision of SME lending".

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