17 Iúil 2020, 17.53

In a report published today, the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response makes 19 recommendations, to help small businesses and those in the hospitality and entertainment sectors survive, while Covid restrictions remain in place.

The Recommendations in the Committee’s Stimulating Enterprise and the Economy report include:

  • A need for the Government’s July Stimulus Package to strike a balance between grant aid and loans
  • Extending the Restart Grant Scheme to make more small enterprises eligible
  • Lowering the interest rates charged on MicroFinance loans
  • Lowering the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors
  • Amending the law relating to examinership.

The Committee met 21 individuals and groups, over 10 meetings, and received 13 other separate written submissions as part of its public examination of the challenges posed to business and specific sectors by the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Chairman of the Committee, Michael McNamara TD outlined the need for State support for the sectors concerned. He said: “The survival of many small businesses will depend on an injection of liquidity and the availability of other supports, and only the State can do this. What we were told quite clearly, was that many small businesses in particular, will have significantly reduced revenue on top of the fact that many will have to meet the cost of stock that was acquired prior to the shut-down that has lost a huge part of its value. We need those enterprises to survive as they will lead and create jobs when we move on from this pandemic, which we will”

In addition, the Report examines the specific challenges faced by particular sectors; like the arts and entertainment sectors, that cannot resume business. Deputy McNamara said: “For many in these sectors, their schedules were cancelled and that ranges from theatre groups to the small bands that played at weddings and pubs at weekends.  These sectors need specific support as they are a vibrant part of our unique lifestyles and the value they bring will far exceed the grant support that should be made available to them.”

The report can be viewed here.

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Independent

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Michael McNamara - Cathaoirleach

Independent

Fine Gael

Independent

Social Democrats

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Labour Party

Green Party