Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan has said that he is very concerned at the low uptake of several Brexit-support schemes for businesses, and is calling on the Government to advertise them better to increase take up.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting after receiving a parliamentary reply from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the number of applications and funding awarded under each of the schemes.

“So far just 132 companies have been approved for eligibility under the Government’s flagship Brexit Working Capital Loan Scheme which provides accessible finance to businesses and companies heavily exposed to Brexit.

“Ireland has approximately 250,000 small and medium enterprises which employ over 1.3 million people in this country. Many of these companies trade across the border or trade with Great Britain.

“Just 122 companies have availed of the €5000 Be Prepared Grant that helps cover the costs of preparing Brexit mitigations plans and strategies to help them optimise opportunities arising from Brexit.

“Many companies in Cork, especially in the agri-business sector, are heavily reliant on cross border trade or trade with companies and customers in Great Britain.

“I really do believe that the Government need to up their game in ensuring that as many SMEs can access the wide variety of grants and supports that are available at present.

“I get the sense that many business owners and managers are caught in the headlights when it comes to Brexit. They need leadership from the Government and this Department in particular,” concluded Moynihan.