Fianna Fáil has proposed a range of measures to provide greater support to small and medium enterprises, including cutting business costs and freeing up credit.
The new measures were outlined in the Fianna Fáil election manifesto which was launched on Monday. The measures have been welcomed by Fianna Fáil Galway West candidate Michael J Crowe.
“I cannot overstate the vital role played by local businesses in securing sustainable economic growth.” he said. “The small and medium enterprises sector directly employs 700,000 people around the country and it supplies the goods and services on which larger firms rely.”
Councillor Crowe said that if elected, he would campaign for a dramatic reduction in the costs associated with running a business
“Many companies in Galway are struggling to pay their utility bills and local authority rates, and this must be addressed,” he said. “In addition, we will ensure more manageable rents for local businesses.”
FF is proposing that The Office of Public Works lead a co-ordinated effort to cut office rents by up to 15 per cent and review the efficiency of rental arrangements in the public sector. Developmental charges for any new business units that create jobs will also be removed.
Under the Fianna Fáil plan, the prompt payment rule will be extended beyond Government departments to the wider public sector. This would means that all State agencies and public sector bodies will be forced to pay bills to private sector firms within 15 days.
Local authorities will be required to improve their efficiency and reduce the rates charged to businesses where possible.
FF also plans to transform the old Business Expansion Scheme into a new and better focused Business Investments Targeting Employment Scheme.
“It will be quicker and easier for companies to become certified, and the maximum amount that they can raise within a 12 month period will be significantly increased,” said Cllr Crowe.