Government ‘could do more’ to support SMEs

New research has again found wide-scale dissatisfaction with the Government’s support of small businesses as political parties continue to argue the merits of their business policies ahead of the upcoming election.

More than 60% of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) feel the Government isn’t doing enough to support their business.

Business representative groups have called for changes to be made to a number of areas including share options, capital gains tax, and access to funding.

Firms are also anxious that costs be kept in check and competitiveness protected.

This, according to research carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of broadband provider Magnet, is an area of great concern.

“As you would expect, there are ongoing issues and challenges also worth noting as an election looms. Most decision makers still believe the Government could do more to assist SMEs, in particular to help reduce the costs of running a business,” said Magnet chief executive, Mark Kellett.

The survey also revealed a lack of awareness by small businesses of the range of grants available to them, however, including Enterprise Ireland vouchers worth up to €5,000 and the Online Trading Voucher which can be worth €2,500 to firms.

Despite concerns that Government continues to ignore the needs of SMEs, the majority of companies are optimistic for the year ahead.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed were positive about their prospects for 2016 while 30% plan to open new offices this year, up significantly from less than 10% a year ago. Companies in the South-West were the most optimistic while those in the Mid-West were the least positive for the year ahead.


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