Time for tangible Brexit supports for small business - SFA

Direct financial aid, low cost finance, enhanced voucher schemes and tax competitiveness all key to Ireland’s Brexit response...

Addressing the Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit today, 4 May 2017, Small Firms Association (SFA) Director Patricia Callan called on the Government to move on from the analysis phase to introduce tangible Brexit support measures for businesses. “The Irish Government needs to step in now to save our exports and, in particular, our food sector, which has the potential to be wiped out before Brexit even happens. Financial support schemes targeting the exporting sectors should be made available as a matter of urgency – and must be extended beyond existing State Agency clients.”

The Small Firms Association outlined a number of other practical supports that would assist the small business community through the uncertainty of Brexit:

  • A specially-designed low cost finance option through SBCI – as was developed for the agri sector
  • A new export finance offering
  • A major public awareness campaign on the importance of buying Irish and shopping local
  • Extension of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme to include all small companies (less than 50 employees)
  • Budget 2018 to deliver measures to position Ireland as tax competitive with the UK in areas such as personal taxation, employee share options and capital gains tax.

Ms Callan concluded: “It is in our interest that the UK remains as close a part of the Single Market and the Customs Union as it can achieve in the negotiations. We are advocates of a soft Brexit but, equally, we must move now to support our own small businesses to compete with the UK and others, through targeted supports, combined with a detailed Government plan to regain our cost-competitiveness."

Article Published: 04/05/2017