A number of reports have been published on the topic of small business in Ireland in recent years including the Small Business Forum report "Small Business is Big Business" and the CSO annual report on "Small Business in Ireland".
The Advisory Group for Small Business was established in June 2011 to focus on the key concerns that face small enterprises in Ireland. The Advisory Group facilitates structured and regular dialogue between its chair, the Minister for Small Business, and representatives of the small business sector on issues of concern to that sector.
The Advisory Group for Small Business is active in identifying impediments to small business. A key focus for the Group is on how to promote the economic development and job potential of the sector having regard to the current constraints on the national finances and to recommend action points that feed into the ‘Action Plan for Jobs.' The annual Action Plan for Jobs is designed to help create an environment where small and medium sized enterprises can flourish.
The Advisory Group's Report "The Voice of Small Business" was published in November 2011. The Report identifies issues of concern for small business such as access to finance, labour market costs and access to procurement. The Report sets out the recommendations of stakeholders in the small business sector to address these issues and lists the actions that they consider need to be put in place by Government to assist SMEs to cope with the current economic crisis and to position them for future growth and job creation.
Thirty-four of the Advisory Group's actions/recommendations were included in the Action Plan for Jobs, published in February.
The first Quarterly Progress Report on the Action Plan for Jobs, covering Quarter 1of 2012, was published by Government on Friday 20 April 2012. This Progress Report is available on my Department's website, under the "Publications" link: http://www.djei.ie/publications/2012APJ_First_Progress_Report.pdf.
The second Quarterly Progress Report on the Action Plan for Jobs, covering Quarter 2 of 2012, will be published by Government on Friday 13 July 2012.