Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Niall Collins TD has obtained new information which shows that the Government is failing to raise awareness of the supports available to businesses to help them prepare for the fallout associated with Brexit.
Deputy Collins made the comments after receiving information through parliamentary questions which demonstrates the poor uptake on schemes that the Government has put in place to deal with Brexit.
Deputy Collins said, “Despite Enterprise Ireland having over 5,500 client companies, just 70 have availed of its Brexit ‘Be Prepared Grants’, worth up to €5,000 each. It’s shocking that just 1% of Enterprise Ireland companies have availed of the grants considering the threat that Brexit poses to businesses here in Ireland.
“Meanwhile, the cross-border agency IntertradeIreland has approved just 24 Brexit readiness vouchers, despite having engaged with over 1,000 SMEs through its Brexit support services.
“The poor uptake arises due to the fact that the Government has failed to make businesses aware of the supports that are available to help them deal with the fallout associated with Brexit. We haven’t seen any sort of meaningful co-ordinated campaign to encourage Irish businesses to avail of Government supports to help them prepare for Brexit.
“With around 40% of all Irish SME exports to the UK, it is vital to diversify into new markets. Therefore, it is highly concerning that there are only 3 Commercial Attachés stationed in Irish embassies in non-EU countries currently.
“Commercial Attachés play a vital role in promoting Ireland’s economic interests abroad and support Irish companies wishing to enter or expand into new markets.
“Once more it is apparent that the Taoiseach’s pledge to double Ireland’s global footprint isn’t actually being followed up with much action. It’s just more spin over substance,” concluded Deputy Collins.