SFA Welcomes Entreprenure Report

Thursday, 23 January 2014

- SFA welcomes publication of the Entrepreneurship Forum Report

“A new national entrepreneurship strategy is need with robust targets and indicators against which the progress can be measured” A J Noonan, SFA Chairman.

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed the publication today of the Entrepreneurship Forum Report. The Report includes recommendations on creating a better environment for entrepreneurs, stimulating growth aspirations and inspiring a culture of entrepreneurship throughout Ireland.

According to AJ Noonan, Chairman of the SFA “in the past many outstanding reports have simply become rhetoric because of the failure of the political system to embrace the entire thrust of what was being proposed. That type of response to this report will result in a piecemeal approach to addressing the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

“There are now 200,000 small businesses in Ireland, with 13,000 new businesses being established each year. Entrepreneurship is alive and well, but must be nurtured and developed with a renewed focus from both agencies and government.”

Noonan welcomed the access to finance recommendations stating that the access to finance and supports for investment are vital. “The proposals allow investment into small businesses and ensure that finance is available to support entrepreneurs create sustainable businesses and employment.”

Noonan stated that Ireland requires a tax system that should reward entrepreneurship. “Ireland now has one of the highest marginal tax rates in the OECD. The marginal tax rate of 55% for self employed at average earnings is well above the OECD average of 36%. These levels of tax rates are unusual across OECD countries and it is an obstacle for entrepreneurs and business start ups.”

The SFA echoed the recommendation for a reduction in Capital Gains Tax to encourage greater indigenous investment “Many countries with high CGT rates have various incentives to support entrepreneurial investment – Ireland does not have such a system. As a result CGT is no longer supportive of investment.”

Supports for female entrepreneurs were welcomed, Noonan stated that women tend to be under represented in the world of business ownership and the recommendations regarding PRSI benefits are sensible “it is reasonable that entrepreneurs are afforded an equal level of protection as their employees.”

“We would all acknowledge that this has been a very difficult time for small business, with entrepreneurship undergoing reassessment. However, 2014 must place small businesses and entrepreneurs at the heart of economic policy. They are the drivers of innovation and a permanent source of employment and economic progress.”

In conclusion, Noonan said “encouraging entrepreneurship is key to our continued growth and prosperity. A new national entrepreneurship strategy is need with robust targets and indicators against which progress can be measured.”

Ends

For interviews, please contact: AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman at Tel: 086-2592610.
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