Small businesses are crucial to Ireland’s economic recovery. HABIC believes that it is essential that the SME sector which includes the Hair and Beauty Industry, is at the forefront of the Government’s National Recovery Plan.
HABIC formally endorses the SME Recovery Plan.
Small and medium enterprises do not operate the same as bigger businesses as they are exposed to different challenges, with the majority driven by the values of founder entrepreneurs and their families, rather than shareholder profits. That’s according to John Moran, Chair of SME Recovery Ireland, who calls for SME’s to be treated as a standalone and priority sector in the Government’s National Recovery Plan.
What is SME Recovery Ireland?
SME Recovery is a platform representing the small and medium business sector in Ireland – the local business down the road. The sector employs 65% of the total national workforce and accounts for 99.8% of total active enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the sector, with 85% of businesses having closed to some degree, of which 34% have shut completely.
SME Recovery Ireland was established in coordination with business representative groups and small business owners from a cross section of industry. It recently launched its National Small Business Recovery Plan setting out a suite of measures required to recapitalise SME’s and return hundreds of thousands back to work. “As more than 1.5 million people were engaged in these enterprises before the COVID-19 emergency, they must and can be the driving force behind Ireland’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” said John Moran, Chair of SME Recovery Ireland.
The Importance of Small Businesses to our Country
“SME’s and the entrepreneurial talent behind them bring colour and dynamism to our local and rural economies. They have been disproportionately impacted by the decisions of Government to have them suspend trading to secure public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only do these SME’s support over 1.5 million jobs throughout Ireland but they also make a vital contribution to the social fabric of the country, providing innovation and integrity as well as moral and financial support right at the heart of our local communities.
It is our belief that the national recovery cannot occur without the reopening of the SME sector at a local level, reversing unemployment through the creation of sustainable jobs. It’s therefore essential that SME’s are prioritised by Government in its response to the economic and societal impact of the pandemic, through effective implementation of the stabilisation and recapitalisation measures required. We believe that the ideas set out in our National Small Business Recovery Plan should form the basis of the priority measures for the SME sector within the Government’s National Recovery Plan.”John Moran, Chair of SME Recovery Ireland and former secretary general of the Department of Finance.
The SME Recovery Ireland National Small Business Recovery Plan
Included in the National Small Business Recovery Plan are a suite of measures to ensure:
- The current surge of unemployment is reversed, and sustainable jobs are created.
- An appropriately capitalised small business sector to support the post-Covid recovery.
- Tax revenues are sustained by ensuring that both small businesses and employment are not destroyed.
This Recovery Plan for National Small Businesses considers the devastation of the SME sector and what State measures are required to assist in the recovery, and is based on our three guiding principles:
- Small businesses are vital to our social fabric.
- Small businesses need a bailout.
- Small businesses need a boost to demand.
Small businesses are vital to our social fabric
The SME sector and its 1.5 million employees have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as such must be specifically considered, indeed prioritised, by Government in its response to the economic and societal impact of the pandemic. These businesses are core to our communities not just by the employment they provide but also for their innovation, ingenuity and colour. Small businesses have a disproportionate impact in rural communities.
National recovery will be driven by recovery of the SME sector at local level. The recovery of SMEs must be the number one priority of the National Recovery Plan which must treat SMEs as a standalone, distinct sector within that Recovery Plan. Our National Small Business Recovery sets out coherent set of measures to form the basis of that priority area within the National Recovery Plan.
Small businesses need a bailout
The SME sector needs to be stabilised and recapitalised and a bailout precedent exists. It will not work though to pile debt onto debt or weak balance sheets. This requires the immediate implementation of a 15 billion euro Recovery Plan for the sector. Incuded in this are liquidity supports, a compensation fund to recapitalise the sector and/or tax breaks, and easy access to lending with 12 month payment freezes. All of this should be funded by the State through low cost borrowing at EU level.
Small businesses need a boost to demand
This should be done alongside an expanded mandate for the SBCI, and additional measures to stabilise the small business sector and boost consumer demand over the critical two years of recovery.
There is a need for additional measures to ensure that the small business sector can recover, including measures to boost consumer demand, to provide funding for business model changes and/or growth, and a streamlined examinership regime, all to be delivered over the critical two years of recovery.
What is Required From Government?
None of these changes will work without proper and effective governance and political leadership. The State must ensure the SME sector does not fail as a result of the pandemic and should implement with immediate effect streamlined governance structures to ensure a coordinated consultative response by government, agencies and SME representative bodies.
What is Required From You?
To sign the petition and SHOW YOUR SUPPORT please go to www.smerecovery.ie
You are invited to join a Briefing Meeting this coming Monday 8th June with SME Recovery Ireland Chairman John Moran. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to attend.
For full details of SME Recovery Ireland’s National Small Business Recovery Plan, visit: www.smerecovery.ie and submit your message of support.