SME Sector on the Road to Revovery

By Martin Murphy
Martin Murphy
Martin Murphy
October 29, 2013 Updated: October 29, 2013

Over five hundred small business owners and managers attended a pilot one-stop-shop event for SMEs in Dublin Castle recently.

This free half-day event was organised by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to provide those contemplating starting a business with the information they may need on their journey. 

The event had 20 State bodies in attendance in the main hall and information stands in a separate area. Speaking at the event, the Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, said: “One of the things we find causes people the most headaches is lack of clarity about what they’re supposed to do, who they need to talk to, and where to get the right information. My Department and all of the State bodies here today are committed to proactively engaging with businesses to tackle this information gap. 

“We want to make sure that SMEs and entrepreneurs can find the information they need from multiple sources in one place. This is part of a wider effort to communicate better with business; last year my Department launched, a web portal that brings together information from over 30 State bodies in one place. Before the end of this year the Government will develop and roll out a communications strategy which will promote awareness and understanding of the full range of Government supports for the SME sector.” 

According to the organisers, attendees gained a better understanding of the key regulations affecting them and found out about advice and supports available from across the public sector. 

Minister Perry said: “The high turnout today shows there is a demand from SMEs for this kind of co-ordinated communication event. It’s really positive to see so many business people make the effort to attend; they are here because they understand how essential it is to make the most of the guidance and supports currently available. 

“We have collected a lot of feedback today which will be considered carefully; I hope we will build on this pilot event and hold more ‘Taking Care of Business’ one-stop-shops next year. Future events will only be possible if we continue the excellent co-operation among State bodies that ensured today was such a success.” 

Speaking at the opening of the event, Senator Feargal Quinn said: “This event epitomises the kind of informal communication between business and government of which we should be doing more. As a businessman, I know it can seem difficult to be fully compliant with regulation and that existing supports can be hard to find; sometimes exactly the thing we need could be available and we just need to get the right information.” 

ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, launched its Annual Conference to be held at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin 4, on Friday 8th November 2013. The theme of this year’s conference ‘Making Ireland Work – SMEs leading the way’, recognises the significant contribution and the no-nonsense approach that owner managers have in the country’s recovery. 

At the launch of the conference, ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding said: “This year’s conference will address the concerns of small and medium business, discuss the new Ireland post-Troika and provide solutions from a small business perspective. While the Government have a role to play, it is up to the SME business sector to get on with things and continue to come up with the solutions that assist owner managers to maintain and grow their enterprises for the benefit of all.”