I am expecting an announcement this week that the Government are planning to help small business owners under a new initiative. We need a comprehensive and workable plan to help SME’s to get started and to keep them in business until they can get established. I proposed that these changes should take place at least six months ago and I am also calling on the Government to put a plan in place with regard to rates to aid small business people. I am currently preparing a document on the rates issue to help keep small businesses viable. This would be a big help to SME’s in towns around the country who need incentives to start up and stay in business in their first few years. We need a total change of attitude in terms of red tape and beaurocracy with regard to job creation and the establishment of small businesses. It is the only way we can aid economic activity in rural Ireland. It should be remembered that 94% of the private workforce are employed in SME’s so we need to protect, nurture and do everything we can to try and allow these businesses survive.
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