Ireland’s small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, account for 3 in every 4 jobs in private sector employment. There are about 185,000 businesses in Ireland, and SMEs account for 99% of them. While employment is on the rise, the rate of job growth for SMEs is far behind total growth. Why? Because our local businesses and self-employed aren’t getting the level of backing given to multinationals. The Social Democrats want to see Ireland’s success in foreign direct investment mirrored for local businesses and the self-employed.
There are still 190,000 people looking for jobs in Ireland, with a further potential additional workforce of 35,000. And while total unemployment has thankfully fallen below 10%, it is still nearly 20% for youth. Properly supporting Ireland’s SME sector is the greatest opportunity available to create new jobs, and in particular new jobs for Ireland’s youth.
The Social Democrats believe that Ireland’s SMEs could be supported in the creation of about 100,000 new jobs. Among the policies we would prioritise are:
REDUCING COSTS AND ADMIN:
SUPPORTING INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
ENSURING CREDIT IS AVAILABLE TO SMES AND THE SELF EMPLOYED:
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM:
INCREASING ACCESS TO WORK AND OTHER POLICIES FOR SMES:
 In 2003 the Norwegian eGovernment system was established initially to assist corporations do their statutory reporting, and has progressed to delivering the services of 33 public agencies, including some of the municipalities. 86% of all Norwegian business used Altinn. More than 80 million forms that would have otherwise been printed were made unnecessary. 17% less hours were spent on administration. Source: www.altinn.no.