Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Let’s get the ‘Plus One Project’ going – Doherty

Enterprise Budget will help support business and innovation

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has said that small businesses will benefit from the Government’s decision to maintain funding for the Department of Enterprise, with about €1 billion euro to be provided for enterprise capital supports over the next two years.

“The Government has clearly illustrated its commitment to jobs in this year’s Budget, by broadly maintaining expenditure in the Department of Enterprise. A whole range of supports and initiatives are planned over the coming year which will directly benefit small businesses. Now is our chance to get what I like to call the ‘Plus One Project’ going; by encouraging and supporting every small firm in the country to take on just one extra employee, we could get to grips with our unemployment crisis.

“The Department’s overall budget will come in at about €880 million, supporting a range of initiatives including an increase in spend for Enterprise Ireland; a 10% rise in the number of high potential start-ups being supported; new technology centres in IT and Financial Services, a 20% increase in the number of Innovation Partnerships and support for over 3,000 researchers.

“The Government is directly targeting the SME sector in its Action Plan for Jobs, which will be up and running in January. This means a Micro Finance Fund and a Partial Loan Gaurantee Scheme will become a reality. This will help to directly tackle the biggest issue facing so many small businesses; access to credit.

“There’s no reason why we can’t compliment these initiatives with other low cost projects, which could have a hugely positive benefit. Why not get an ‘Innovation Bus’ on the road, travelling to towns around the country, to provide helpful advice and information to prospective business people. Entrepreneurial spirit is incredibly high in Ireland; the Government’s drive and focus to grow the economy and get people working again will help us to tap into that huge potential.”

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