Business group Dublin Chamber has welcomed the findings of a new OECD report, launched today, which calls for a range of supports for Irish SMEs. The Chamber is calling for a clear timeline for implementation by the Irish government of the reports’ key recommendations.
The Chamber, which represents 1,300 businesses in the Greater Dublin Area, said the findings confirm its long-standing call for a more ambitious policy to encourage indigenous business growth.
The report follows a year-long survey by the OECD of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland, and recommends a number of actions to boost investment, innovation, and internationalisation in the sector.
The OECD report backs several recommendations put forward by Dublin Chamber in submissions to Government earlier this year, including improvements to the R&D tax credit and a levelling of the playing field for foreign hires.
The report highlights that take-up of the R&D tax credit is heavily skewed to large enterprises and recommends improving access to the scheme for SMEs. It also reports that SMEs face skills shortages as they struggle to compete with multinationals for staff.
The Small Firms Association (SFA) today also welcomed the news that a national SME and Entrepreneurship strategy will be introduced before the end of the year, based on the recommendations of the OECD review of Ireland's SME and entrepreneurship policies.
Director of the SFA, Sven Spollen-Behrens said, "The SFA has been calling for the introduction of a national Small Business Strategy that places a clear focus on the 98% of businesses employing half the private sector workforce for a few years now. It is gratifying that the Government has listened to what the SFA and OECD have being saying about the need to improve SME and entrepreneurship policies and programmes in order to boost the number and performance of small businesses."