Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen T.D. has urged micro and small businesses to prepare for Brexit and to talk to their Local Enterprise Office (LEO) about the range of LEO supports now available.
The Minister was in LEO Dublin City at the Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Wood Quay to announce a suite of Brexit supports totalling €3.4 million, now available to micro and small businesses through the 31 LEOs nationwide. These include:
· Access to the ‘Brexit SME Scorecard’ online tool where micro and smaller businesses can self-diagnose their readiness for Brexit;
· A ‘Technical Assistance for Micro-enterprises’ grant to help LEO clients to find new markets and exports;
· Rollout of ‘Lean for Micro’ nationwide which will make small businesses more efficient and competitive;
· A ‘LEO Innovation and Investment Fund’ pilot programme to support innovation in micro-enterprises and get them investor ready to scale their businesses;
· Tailored mentoring to address Brexit related business challenges;
· Training on specific Brexit challenges, including financial aspects; and
· Continued information, advice and guidance across all 31 LEOs and regionally.
Speaking at the announcement, which was attended by a number of LEO client companies Minister Breen said:
“I am delighted to announce this suite of important Brexit supports which will be available for small and medium enterprises. These are important resources as SME’s have fewer internal resources to draw on in meeting the challenges posed by Brexit.
“It is imperative that micro and small businesses have the tools and supports needed to navigate through what is uncharted territory.
“This is part of the Government’s Brexit planning and I am very pleased that my Department through Enterprise Ireland has been able to accelerate the rollout of these new LEO offerings worth up to €3.4 million, and I urge small and micro business owners to get in touch with their LEO to see how they can help.”
Speaking on behalf of the LEOs, Sheelagh Daly, Chairperson of the Network of LEOs commented:
“We are very pleased to be able to offer these Brexit supports to micro and small companies through every Local Enterprise Office nationwide.
“The Local Enterprise Offices are the first stop shop for anyone wishing to start or grow their business. If you are a start-up, micro or small enterprise, make your Local Enterprise Office the first port of call for Brexit support and advice”.