Seanad debates

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Enterprise Support Services

10:30 am

Photo of Maria ByrneMaria Byrne (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The Minister of State is welcome to the House. He had a successful visit to the local enterprise office, LEO, in Limerick recently. When I was a member of the local authority, I served as a member of the local enterprise board, the precursor to the LEO, and saw the benefits of same to business. In recent times, however, I have become aware of the fact that the LEO mainly deals with companies with ten employees or fewer while Enterprise Ireland mainly deals with companies with 30 or more employees. I have spoken to companies and businesses that received wonderful support in the start-up phase from their LEO. Many businesses have started small and grown into multi-million euro turnover enterprises, which is wonderful. However, I am concerned about those that are the meat in the sandwich, namely those companies with more than ten but fewer than 30 employees because they have nowhere to go. They feel that they are squeezed in the middle and I would like to see more supports and services made available to them.

The Minister of State is committed to the small business sector as was clear when he visited Limerick and met staff at the LEO, various companies and the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, LEDP. There is so much scope there and he saw for himself what is going on in the area. It is important that we support companies of an in-between size. I look forward to his response.


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