Sinn Féin’s Barbara Smyth, who is a candidate in the Longford area for the upcoming local elections, addressed the party’s Ard Fheis at the Wexford Opera House on Sundy, focusing on the need to support small businesses.
“Small businesses are the life-blood of the Irish economy, they are the largest employer in the country,” she told party members.
“Since the implementation of austerity measures by current and previous governments , small businesses continue to struggle to keep their doors open. I have seen this in Longford where I run a small business with my husband. When small businesses close, the effects are felt nationally in every town and village across this island.”
Ms Smyth continued by saying an overhaul of the rates sytem is needed and questioned the lending policy of banks.
“Banks turning overdraft facilities into term loans does not constitute ‘we are lending’. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
She also called for for a MABS-type service for businesses: “The right support at the right time is often what makes all the difference when a business is struggling.”