I understand the critical role SMEs must play in the national recovery and I welcome all suggestions and inputs such as these proposals referred to by the Deputy. The Government listens carefully to all such suggestions and will consider them as we develop responses to the crisis and put our economy on the path to recovery. Indeed, previous suggestions by this group, such as an SME and State Bodies Group, were considered during the development of the new Programme for Government.
I am acutely aware that the SME sector is facing a financing crisis not of their making. SMEs have different business models and needs compared to larger businesses and will require specific policy interventions. The business supports introduced in response to the crisis to date have been cognisant of this and any additional and future actions will do the same.
The new Government’s job over the next few weeks and months is to help businesses get back on track in every way we can. I have every confidence that an ambitious July Stimulus package will help to “recapitalise small and local businesses” as well as setting our economy on the right course for the future.