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Businesses in Waterford to benefit from new support package

Targeted measures aimed at reducing costs will deliver improved certainty and much needed relief for small businesses across Waterford, Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said.

 

Senator Cummins has confirmed that a new business support package has been announced by Fine Gael colleagues, Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Peter Burke, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Patrick O’Donovan.

 

The new package includes a range of measures, targeted specifically at reducing costs for small businesses across the country, including in Waterford.

 

Senator Cummins welcomed the new supports and says they will be a significant help for local small and medium sized enterprises: “This package is very welcome news and comes at a time where businesses have faced increased costs due to inflation, energy increases and rising labour costs.”

 

Senator Cummins continued: “I know the Increased Cost of Business Grant was well received by 2,155 businesses here in Waterford but I would have hoped for a higher take up, therefore it is great to see it re-opened for new registrations, as well as the announcement that a second payment will be made to all businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors, as we recognise that they are the businesses most exposed to increased costs. This will mean a further payment of up to €5,000 will be available to all such businesses, paid directly into their bank accounts.”

 

“It is also really positive to see energy grants increased, so that any business in Waterford which wants to upgrade their equipment to ensure better energy efficiency and lower bills will now only have to pay 25%, with the Department providing a 75% grant of up to €10,000.  Equipment covered includes heating or lighting upgrades, new refrigeration units, electric ovens and industrial dishwashers and I would encourage those that haven’t already done so to avail of this opportunity to reduce their energy bills”.

 

Senator Cummins added “One of the pieces of feedback received by businesses when Minister of State Emer Higgins was in Waterford in recent weeks was that the higher threshold for PRSI for those on the minimum wage was impacting their bottom line, therefore we are moving to address this by increasing the ceiling for the higher threshold from €446 to €491. We are also pausing any further movement on sick pay and implementing an ‘SME Test” for any new measures. Various other grants such as the Innovation Grant scheme are also being enhanced and expanded”.

 

Minister for Enterprise Peter Burke said after engaging with businesses across the country that he understands the issues they are facing and is committed to providing further support: “When the Taoiseach was elected four weeks ago, he said he wanted to prioritise our small businesses, and we have seen today that Fine Gael has delivered on this. Businesses need certainty and some much-needed relief, and I will continue to engage with our cafes, our butchers, our hairdressers, our pub-owners and our corner shop enterprises. These are the backbone of our local economy and provide much valued employment up and down this country.”

 

“Today is a positive day for small businesses, and we will continue to meet with and talk to all sectors ahead of the Budget later this year.” Minister Burke concluded.

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