Recently appointed Athlone Town Mayor, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke has welcomed the prompt allocation of Restart Grant initiative payments to local businesses.
“I very much welcome the swift action by the rates and finance section of Westmeath County Council this week which saw the first wave of payments from the Restart Grant initiative paid to businesses.
“A very simple two page application form was completed by applicants online and impressively the valid applicants received the grant within two weeks. Businesses are reopening now and none of us know what to expect. It is almost like starting all over again, opening your doors for the first time. The restart grant is important and a shot in the arm for businesses, however it is not enough,” the Town Mayor asserted.
The Town Mayor has advocated for further supportive measures for the local SME business sector.
“More needs to be done to support our SME sector, they are the lifeblood of our economy and the employment engine of our town. The new Government needs to provide more robust and more significant longer term suite of supports for SMEs over the coming twelve months with a continuation of the rates waiver being an obvious start for the coming year.
“The Restart Grant application process was a simple example, but an example none the less, of how the Council can and should embrace technology going forward in all of its departments to streamline how we do our business,” the Town Mayor concluded.