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Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton has said that Fine Gaels small business policy could provide a real boost to our economic recovery. The new plan called “Putting Small Business First” was launched last week.

“The five point plan is to kick-start a small business revolution through supporting existing small businesses and enabling new business start-ups. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Irish economy but have fallen foul of the recession with hundreds of companies being forced to close. Despite this we still have 86,000 small businesses, employing more than 700,000 people and generating more than €90 billion turnover every year. SMEs are responsible for over 50% of all VAT collections,” noted Deputy Stanton.

“We believe that our plan for small businesses can create thousands of new jobs and kick-start our economic recovery. Fine Gael’s Five Point Plan will tackle the serious problems facing the sector, including undercapitalisation, weak financial structures and difficulties securing finance, lack of Government support, and excessive red tape.

We will introduce the following changes:
• Redirect tax reliefs into the SME sector;
• Examine the Constitutional case for removing upward only rent reviews;
• A partial loan guarantee for viable small businesses;
• Cut red tape by 25%;
• A Jobs Tax Cut to reduce staff costs for employers;
• Set up powerful ‘one stop shops’ for SMEs across the country;
• A single Business Inspectorate;
• Make it easier for SMEs to tender for public contracts.

“Putting Small Business First provides a comprehensive policy framework for the small business sector, for the first time. It will protect existing jobs, and create new ones across all sectors, at minimal cost to the State. The plan will greatly benefit Ireland’s six growth industries: biotechnology; medicine & health care; creative industries; tourism; green energy; agri-food. It will also provide much needed support to SMEs in the construction industry. It’s time for a new era of rapid and sustainable economic development, with SMEs at its heart.”