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Eight enterprise boards receive no additional funding – Morgan

14 October, 2010

Speaking today after the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation announced a further allocation of €3.3million to city and county enterprise boards, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise Trade and Innovation said the reality is that nearly a third of enterprise boards have received no additional funding.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The announcement of €3.3million comes with great fanfare but in actual fact it amounts to less than €100,000 per enterprise board, hardly serious money or a huge investment given the scale of work expected to get nearly 450,000 people back to work.

“Indeed eight enterprise boards in this State haven’t been allocated any money from this additional funding. This Government has once again done a pick and mix with enterprise funds and job creation and nearly a third of enterprise boards haven't been given any additional funds.

“Today’s announcement intends to dwarf a further move by the Government to allow the transfer of rural development funding to other departments. Sinn Féin is in no way opposed to the Enterprise Boards getting funding but this cannot be accompanied by unwarranted attempts by the Government to undermine and plunder the LEADER programme to do so.

“Ministers O’Keefe and Carey need to concentrate on ensuring adequate funding for both programmes and to ensure that no enterprises fall foul of the responsibility gap. In order to ensure that the injection of much needed funds is efficiently utilised, Sinn Féin recommends:

· Development of a comprehensive programme for preferential assistance to micro-enterprises (those with less than 10 employees) and small enterprises (those with between 10 and 49 employees).
· Clarification of national and local rules regarding enterprise eligibility for assistance, both financial assistance and soft supports
· Clarification of policy and agency responsibility for SMEs which are above the County Enterprise Board threshold of 10, but may not meet Enterprise Ireland criteria
· Rationalisation of EDAs into a ‘One-stop-shop’ system to facilitate ease of access to information and support.” ENDS

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