Tuesday 25 September 2018

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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Irish business owners ‘caught in the headlights’

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018 4:30pm

Michael Olney

The Irish Government is being called upon to better advertise Brexit support schemes to businesses in light of a worryingly low uptake.

The schemes include the Brexit Working Capital Loan Scheme and the Be Prepared Grant.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan has expressed his concern after receiving a parliamentary reply from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the number of applications and funding awarded under each of the schemes.

“I really do believe that the Government need to up their game in ensuring that as many SMEs can access the wide variety of grants and supports that are available at present,” said Mr Moynihan.

“Ireland has approximately 250,000 small and medium enterprises which employ over 1.3 million people in this country with many of these companies trading across the border or with Great Britain.

“So far just 132 companies have been approved for eligibility under the Government’s flagship Brexit Working Capital Loan Scheme which provides accessible finance to businesses and companies heavily exposed to Brexit.

“Only 122 companies have availed of the €5,000 Be Prepared Grant that helps cover the costs of preparing Brexit mitigation plans and strategies to help them optimise opportunities arising from Brexit.”

Mr Moynihan went on to say that a large number of companies in Cork, especially in the agri-business sector, are heavily reliant on cross border and UK trading.

“I get the sense that many business owners and managers are caught in the headlights when it comes to Brexit and are in need of leadership from the Government and this Department in particular,” concluded Moynihan.

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