At the National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle today, the Small Firms Association (SFA) called on the Government to shift its focus from multinationals to small, indigenous businesses in Budget 2020.
Due to rolling Brexit uncertainty and slowing global growth, the SFA says the Government needs to make sure that the economy is more resilient to external shocks.
Currently, the SFA say Ireland has a situation where, even with a strongly growing economy, only half of SFA members say that their businesses are growing.
The SFA believe a national Small Business Strategy is needed, placing a clear focus on the 98% of businesses employing half the private sector workforce, which they say are the lifeblood of towns and villages around the country.
The priority measures proposed for Budget 2020 under such a strategy are:
•All Budgetary measures should be assessed for their impact on small firms. No measures that impose additional costs on small companies should be introduced.
•The self-employed Earned Income Tax Credit must finally be brought to the same level as the PAYE tax credit.
•Capital gains tax rates need to be reviewed – the 33% rate and the restrictive limit on Entrepreneur Relief is a poor reward for years and often decades of hard work to build a business.
Speaking this week, SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens said, "It is time for a plan to boost the number and performance of small businesses. It would give these businesses a better chance of succeeding and provide Ireland with a more resilient indigenous enterprise base."