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‘Local firms miss out on Euro funding’ - SF

29 April, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Small businesses in the North have missed out in the past on vital funding because of a lack of engagement with Europe, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has revealed.   “Today, the Committee of the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister heard evidence from the Federation of Small Business as part of the inquiry into European affairs,” Ms. De Brún said.   “One of their main concerns was the failure of the North to capitalise on the European Multi-annual Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.   “This was a European funding scheme aimed particularly at small and medium enterprises but the FSB warn that local firms did not benefit from the finance available.   “This particular example largely occurred during the Direct Rule period but there are still funding opportunities to be grasped if the Assembly engages more pro-actively with the many European funding streams available.   “In the current economic climate, it would be madness to miss out on so much European money.   “We need to make the most of the opportunities which Europe has to offer to the whole island of Ireland. We should be working together on an all-Ireland basis, and enhancing engagement between EU institutions, local MEPs, and the Assembly as a whole.”

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