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28 May 2022

Survival of many family businesses on the line during Covid-19 crisis says Laois TD

More help sought

Sean Fleming

Sean Fleming TD

Small business needs more help to ensure survival through the Covid-19 emergency, according to Laois Sean Fleming.

The  Fianna Fáil TD  for Laois Offaly Seán Fleming has said additional significant support is needed for micro-businesses to ensure that they can reopen once the crisis passe.

“Micro-businesses are firms with less than ten employees. They constitute 90% of business in Ireland and are responsible for employing over 400,000 people. Many of these are small local family-run businesses and their importance is not fully appreciated.  They are vital to our society and economy.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many such viable businesses which are now vulnerable. There is a huge concern that a number of these businesses will not reopen once the pandemic passes and I am calling on the Government to plan now to help them to get them back on their feet.

“Cash flow is key for these businesses and cash support is what’s needed. Many of these businesses may not get support from their banks. Others cannot afford to take out loans and those that can shouldn’t have to pay interest while they’re getting back on their feet.

“Yesterday’s announcement by Minister Humphreys that Microfinance Ireland would reduce interest rates on their loans from 7.8% to 4.5% is an insult to these businesses. Why should they pay interest of 4.5.% when the Government can borrow at less than 0%?

“The Government appear to be neglecting these businesses and are forgetting that they are the bread and butter of our economy. They need to put in place a guarantee, supported by the EU and the banks, to ensure that when the time comes for restrictions to be lifted, these businesses can get back in business, and re-employ their staff as quickly as possible,” he concluded.

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