Clare Business Fears New Supports Only “Plugging A Hole” In The Short-Term

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A Clare business fears new supports for small and medium enterprises are merely “plugging a hole” in the short-term.

Grants of up to 5,000 euro for small retail and hospitality firms are among a package of supports announced for small retail and hospitality firms today.

The Government has today agreed a range of measures with the aim of reducing costs for small and medium sized businesses.


Key measures announced by Enterprise Minister Peter Burke this lunchtime include the reopening of the ‘Increased Cost of Business scheme’ for another 14 days and a second payment for businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors.

The maximum amount available under the Energy Efficiency Grant Scheme is being increased to €10,000, with the business contribution rate reduced from 50% to 25%.

There will also be a Review ESRI research on the impact of Statutory Sick Leave before deciding on any further increases.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has confirmed that she’ll increase the employer PRSI threshold from €441 to €496 from October 1st this year.

This aims to ensure employers with employees earning the weekly equivalent of the national minimum wage will pay the lower employer PRSI rate of 8.8%.

One Clare business owner is questioning whether the package will go far enough to prevent more closures though.

Judi Kinnane of the Jellyfish Marketplace in Kilrush believes supports should be considered in the context of what SMEs offer the wider economy, and that only time will tell if this package will have a positive impact.

A Clare member of the national council of ISME is calling for more communication with small and medium businesses.

The association is among a number of representative groups calling for greater representation on the Labour Employer Economic Forum and the Low Pay Commission.

Nuala Mulqueeney of the Aillwee Burren Experience says open dialogue with the people on the ground will be crucial in ensuring the survival of businesses into the future.

You can listen to the full interview below.