All eligible firms should benefit from Stabilisation Fund

16 Apr 2009

The Enterprise Stabilisation Fund introduced in the recent budget must be made available to all eligible Irish businesses, and the speed at which payments are processed must be increased.

Chambers Ireland said that if the Enterprise Stabilisation Fund, which was approved by the European Commission, is to have the desired effect of supporting and stimulating businesses, then the process of drawing down funds must be accelerated.

“Timelines for approval must be shortened if eligible companies are to continue to operate,” said David Bourke, head of regional development at Chambers Ireland.

“Chambers around the country are hearing of too many examples of payments by Government being slowed down.

“At present, having satisfied stringent approval procedures, we understand that enterprise support agencies must then seek approval from the Department of Finance for final drawdown of funding. This can take up to three months to be approved by the Department of Finance. This is too long.

“Enterprise Ireland serves the needs of its approximately 4,000 clients well. However a whole ecosystem of firms in Ireland will face significant challenges to qualify for this scheme. More companies must have the opportunity to be considered for funding,” he said.

Bourke continued: “The Government must also give serious consideration to the establishment of an Irish equivalent of the UK’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, as called for by Chambers Ireland.

“This could be rolled out as part of the overall plan to restore confidence in the Irish banking system, and the economy as a whole,” Bourke concluded.

By John Kennedy