Cowen welcomes 'crucial' additional supports to tackle cost of business

Published on: 16 May 2024

Barry Cowen TD, the Fianna Fáil candidate for the European Elections in the Midlands North West, has welcomed fresh funding supports for small business owners. 

Last week, Deputy Cowen called for further funding for SMEs after just over half of eligible businesses applied for the €257m Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) scheme. Cabinet has now approved a new enterprise support package, and Deputy Cowen has spoken out on the new round of funding.


Deputy Cowen said: “Far too many struggling owners across the Midlands North West constituency have told me the same thing in regards to the crippling cost of business.


“I myself am a product of a small family business and understand their significance in the rural community. I therefore welcome the announcement of further support for SMEs with the reopening of the Increased Cost of Business scheme, and would encourage all businesses who are eligible to apply for the grant.


“SMEs in the retail and hospitality sectors are also set to receive grants of up to €5,000. Small businesses can now claim up to €10,000 under the Energy Efficiency Grant, and the Innovation Voucher Scheme will be doubled. 


“There is also a commitment to reforming employers’ PRSI, and businesses with staff earning minimum wage will pay a lower rate of 8.8%.


“It’s crucially important that we continue to support SMEs while we have a record 2.7 million people at work. These businesses are the backbone of towns and villages, and they’re fighting for survival - we need to do everything we can to help them.


“This latest round of funding will provide a necessary boost to SMEs when they need it most, and the Government must continue to deliver on support schemes that can significantly help business owners.”