Small businesses call for new Government action

Tax policy and infrastructure deficits must be addressed, says SFA...

Small businesses call for new Government action

(right) Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen with the Prince of Wales (centre) and Rose Hynes, Chairman Shannon Airport Authority (left). Picture by: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Small Firms Association (SFA) holds its annual conference today, with its chairman issuing a call for the new Government to address a number of issues affecting small businesses in Ireland.

The Sunday Business Post reports that AJ Noonan will take the opportunity to recommend a pro-business tax policy that would involve a fresh capital gains tax regime more beneficial to existing business, as well share option schemes to help firms attract and retain talent.

The SFA also points to the cost of finance and the current infrastructure deficit as major problems facing its members.

The SFA's new report sets out a medium-term plan to stimulate growth, and notes that small companies make up 98% of all Irish business, employing half of the private sector workforce.

According to Noonan:

"Small business often does not get the recognition it deserves because its contribution is based on thousands of smaller investments and jobs created every year rather than once-off ‘big bangs’.

"Much of government policy is based on backing winners and attracting foreign multi-nationals, rather than creating an environment for more and more indigenous businesses to establish, create jobs, survive and succeed".

In early May, the SFA outlined its eight key priorities for the new administration, including an end to "tax discrimination against the self-employed and entrepreneurs" and finding a solution to the rising cost of doing business.