Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD has vowed to raise concerns of small business owners on the floor of the Dáil following a recent visit to Carlow. Deputy Martin met with business owners following a request by Fianna Fáil bye-election candidate for Carlow-Kilkenny Bobby Aylward.
Deputy Martin commented, “Over the last number of weeks I have been meeting with small business owners across Carlow and Kilkenny with Bobby Aylward. This week I spent a lot of time in Carlow town and heard first hand some of the serious concerns that small businesses have about ongoing loss of trade and the absence of any Government response.
“A major issue that has been recurring is the fact that many businesses are struggling with bureaucracy when trying to get their products on the market. One particular issue that has been highlighted are the ongoing delays with certification by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).
“Manufacturers require certification by the NSAI to get their products onto the market, but due to a lack of Government resourcing it can take up to four weeks for certificates to be issued. In the UK the turnaround for certification is completed within 24 hours, and as a result many small businesses across Carlow are losing out on business to competitors in the UK.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. The IDA only visited Carlow twice last year under the present Government. It is clear Fine Gael and Labour are lacking initiative in trying to attract inward investment into Carlow. Much more needs to be done to support existing small businesses to allow them expand alongside encouraging entrepreneurs to setup new businesses in Carlow.
“Fianna Fáil has a strong legacy of supporting enterprise in Carlow. When in Government we prioritised the construction of the M9 motorway to help connect Carlow businesses with new markets. Over €20m was invested in IT Carlow to make it a top class centre of education which in turn has supported enterprise across Carlow. If elected Bobby Aylward will continue the Fianna Fáil tradition of attracting new investment into Carlow” said Deputy Martin.