Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Small Firms Association calls for greater supports to get local economies Brexit ready
In advance of the Local Elections on Friday, May 24th the Small Firms Association (SFA) has, today, launched a new policy paper entitled ‘Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready’ (see below). The paper highlights the growing concern amongst small businesses that not enough is being done by local authorities to address the continued erosion of competitiveness within our towns and villages or to help local small businesses address the uncertainty of Brexit.
Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, said: “Brexit will affect each local community differently, with the Border areas likely to be most impacted. With increasing competition for inward investment and tourism, it is vital that our local authorities put in place plans to sustain enterprise and tourism during these uncertain times.
“In 11 counties small firms employ 60% of the private sector workforce, so small business is critical to the vitality of every Irish town and village. To alleviate rolling Brexit uncertainty and maintain competitiveness local authorities should provide certainty to this key sector of the economy, by not increasing commercial rates or adding to the cost of doing business at this time”.
The SFA is calling for local authorities and candidates in the 2019 local elections to:
• Ensure local authorities are Brexit ready
• Progress local authority and commercial rates reform
• Adopt the Framework for Town Centre Renewal
• Work alongside government to deliver key infrastructure projects including broadband
• Support and invest in green initiatives
The SFA Director continued: “Local authorities have a responsibility to deliver well-resourced Local Enterprise Offices, well maintained transport links and work with government and other key stakeholders to bring about key infrastructure projects, in particular the roll out of broadband which remains a clear, and ongoing competitiveness concern.
“With the UK due to leave the EU more must be done by local authorities to secure the survival of small businesses across the country. “