Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson welcoming a report on access to EU finance by SMEs said that EU funding "offers a largely untapped potential for SMEs at home"
Speaking from Strasbourg ahead of the vote on the report tomorrow (Tuesday 5th) Ms Anderson said:
"This report supports the financing programmes for SME’s from the European Investment Bank and structural funds, which offer a largely untapped potential for SME’s.
"It is a welcome recognition of the importance of SME’s, which account for more than 98 % of Europe’s businesses and provide more than 67 % of jobs in the EU.
"The future success of SMEs and their contribution to job creation over the coming years will depend on governments putting in place economic policies which will allow SME’s to flourish and to develop quality products and services.
“All indicators would tell us that small traders in particular are going through an extremely difficult financial situation over the past number of years.
“There is an onus on all of us not least politicians to do all that we can to alleviate the pressure on our local traders. While politicians must look for solutions to the economic crisis I would encourage individual SME’s to explore every avenue available to them.
"This report particularly addresses the need for SME's to have access to credit. While I would have preferred it to be more pro-active in pushing the banks to invest in the economy, this report is a step in the right direction. I believe that EU funding offers a largely untapped source of potential funding for SME’s in the North of Ireland."