THE Government’s eagerly awaited Jobs Budget now announced, Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD will address a conference on rural jobs hosted by Irish Rural Link at Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath on May 12 and May 13 when it is expected that further details of the government initiative will be outlined.
The conference will be opened by Minister for Housing and Planning Willie Penrose TD, and will also be addressed by John Perry TD, the Minister for Small Business.
Irish Rural Link are calling Minister Perry to recognise the value of rural business networks and the need for a specialised rural business incentive fund to stimulate rural entrepreneurs.
According to Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural Link, the conference will also highlight to Ministers Penrose and Perry the need to lift the barriers to rural enterprise such as planning restrictions, the carbon tax and the difficulty in accessing grants from County Enterprise Boards and LEADER. He said that the initiative could not come at a better time, as many rural businesses are now at a critical stage in their survival, and further business closures would be a severe blow.
Helen Dunne, Policy and Communications Officer with Irish Rural Link said that IRL is also calling for a solution to the lack of available credit for rural businesses. She said there is a need for a dedicated “rural bank” or credit corporation which would provide banking services and credit facilities to ensure that rural areas do not get left behind. She said that finance for small business start-ups is vital to re-energising the rural economy and getting people back to work in their own locality.
Anyone wishing to attend the conference can contact Irish Rural Link on 090 648 2744 or visit www.irishrurallink.ie. The conference is sponsored by BHP Insurances and Eucon Shipping and Transport Limited.