Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (299)

Éamon Ó Cuív


299. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to explore the potential of the wool industry; her plans to commission and publish a report into creative ways of exploiting this natural resource to ensure maximum added value for the producer and to the economy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16377/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The Government, since 2011, has been firmly focused on restoring the economy to a more stable footing and sustaining existing jobs and growing employment in all sectors and in all parts of the country. The economy has recovered strongly and there are now more people at work than ever before. With the increase in employment and increase in earnings, there is now more spending in the economy and this is to the benefit of all businesses.

The supports of my Department to improve access to credit for businesses include loans of up to €25,000 available through Micro Finance Ireland, the Credit Guarantee Scheme which is operated with the three pillar banks and also the Brexit Working Capital Loan Scheme.

I would also encourage businesses from all sectors to engage with their Local Enterprise Office (LEO), which are a ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own businesses.

Responsibility for matters specifically related to the wool industry, including the marketing of wool, lies with my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.