The Small Firms Association has welcomed the July Stimulus Package with Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens saying: "The July stimulus measures will allow small businesses to access the working capital and investment funds they need. The lowering of the Standard VAT rate will benefit the economy and especially the retail and hospitality sector, which have been so hard hit.
The SFA Director continued: "We support the extended commercial rates waiver and the enhanced Restart Grant which will help more businesses reopen and trade while respecting social distancing. Going forward, local authorities and small businesses, will need to work more closely together to attract Irish tourists and shoppers to their village centres and amenities to spend their 'Staycation Subsidy'.
"Changes to the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme and 0% interest for the first year of SME loans will allow more affordable credit get to the small business community so they can recover and survive the ongoing health crisis.
"The new Employment Wage Support Scheme is welcome. Although small firms are thankfully able to continue to use the scheme, many are having to reduce headcounts. If the Government wants to stem the tide and promote job creation, it needs to look further at bringing down the cost of employment, starting with not increasing the National Minimum Wage in Budget 2021.
"Self-employed business owners will welcome the introduction of a new income tax relief, this shows the Government’s commitment to indigenous entrepreneurs.
"These revamped measures combined with a streamlined application process, which should be in place for all COVID-19 business supports, will help to get more cash to the small firms that really need it.
"As we emerge from this crisis, it is crucial that Government make a concentrated effort to bring down employment costs, bolster consumer demand and upskill the next generation. The commitments announced today by Government are the first steps in achieving these goals. The SFA hopes to see more far-reaching economic stimulus in the October budget," concluded Spollen-Behrens.