Addressing a Federation of Small Business (FSB) event this morning Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson told the gathering that SMEs can be the engine to drive economic recovery across Ireland. To support this belief she is suggesting that First and deputy First Ministers host an ‘SME Assistance Conference’ to bring together key government ministers, officials and policy makers with the objective of devising a strategic plan to assist SMEs to, grow, create jobs and be sustainable.
Addressing the event this morning Ms Anderson said:
“Sinn Féin is aware of the pivotal role played by SMEs across Ireland. They are the lifeblood of our economy creating almost 350,000 jobs in the North and 70% of all jobs in the South. When the multinationals move to lower waged economies in search of increased profits – SMEs remain the mainstay of the economy.
“Sinn Féin is of the firm belief that the border is a barrier to economic growth for SMEs North and South
“But SMEs in Border Regions have benefited from EU stimulus programes, boosting cross-border trade. There is no doubt that Ireland’s place is in Europe.
“In my opinion SME indigenous entrepreneurs with national, EU and global ambition can be the engine to drive economic recovery from the worst recession in living memory.
“As part of my commitment to “BRING EUROPE TO YOU AND YOU TO EUROPE” on assuming the position of MEP, I hosted a delegation from the Chambers of Commerce and SMEs from across the North and Border Regions on a two-day visit to Brussels where they met key Commission Officials.
“These initiatives are intended to ensure organisations and individuals such as you have access to £2.3 Billion in funds available through EU COSME programes and many other SME funding streams.
“As your MEP I will work to cut down red tape, open up new export markets and encourage entrepreneurship. I supported the Late Payments Directive, which ensures prompt payments for SMEs.
“I will be in touch with the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers asking them to host an ‘SME Assistance Conference’ to bring together key government ministers, officials and policy makers to devise a strategic plan to assist SMEs to grow, create jobs and be sustainable."