Fianna Fáil will increase support for local businesses – Ó Domhnaill

Fianna Fáil has proposed a range of measures to provide greater support to local businesses and entrepreneurs, according to local Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill.  The Fianna Fáil candidate in Donegal South West has welcomed the focus on cutting business costs and freeing up credit as outlined in the Fianna Fáil election manifesto yesterday (Monday, 07 February).

“Local businesses will play a vital role in economic recovery and job creation in Donegal.  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. The Fianna Fáil plan recognises that local businesses need every support they can get during these difficult times.

“If elected, I want to ensure a dramatic reduction in the costs associated with running a business. I know that many companies here in Donegal are struggling to pay their utility bills and local authority rates, and this must be addressed. Fianna Fáil will impose rigorous efficiency targets on the ESB, Bord Gais and Eirgrid, to ensure that the energy needs of all customers around the country are met at a lower cost. Our National Energy Efficiency Action Plan includes measures to lower electricity costs for smaller businesses, with an overall target of achieving a national energy saving of 20% by 2020.

“In addition to this, we will ensure more manageable rents for local businesses, The Office of Public Works will lead a coordinated effort to cut office rents by up to 15% and review the efficiency of rental arrangements in the public sector. We will also remove all developmental charges for any new business units that create jobs.

“Under the Fianna Fáil plan, the prompt payment rule will be extended beyond Government Departments to the wider public sector. This means that all State agencies and public sector bodies will be forced to pay their bills to private sector firms within 15 days. On top of this, local authorities will be required to improve their efficiency and reduce the rates charged to businesses where possible.

“We have provided for investments in small firms at their earliest stages of development, through Enterprise Ireland’s €175 million seed and venture capital programme and through the €500 million Innovation Fund. We plan 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 twelve month period will be significantly increased.

“Our plan also envisages that enterprise agencies work closely with small firms to help them improve performance, increase productivity, reach new markets and develop a greater online presence. 

“Local businesses are the backbone of our economy here in Donegal. Our plan makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start up a business and for existing firms to meet their costs,” concluded Senator Ó Domhnaill.

Posted: Feb 8, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized