The Minister for Small Business John Perry T.D., and the Banking Division in the Department of Finance publishes its Report of the Regional Meetings on Credit Supply
On foot of the Mazars SME Lending Demand Study, and in order to understand the situation “on the ground” as well as stimulating further ideas to get movement from the bottom up, a series of seven regional meetings with local representatives was undertaken, hosted by the Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D., supported by Mr John Moran, Secretary General in the Department of Finance. The aim of these meetings was to examine further the actions which might be taken to improve access to credit for SMEs. The invitation list for the meetings included delegates representing business representative organisations, the three main banks, the IFA, the IHF, county enterprise boards and relevant state agencies.
The dates, locations and key sectoral focus for the meetings were as follows:
Key Sector Focus
Education for SMEs
Minister Perry said, “The purpose of the meetings was to allow myself and the Secretary General of the Department of Finance to hear at first hand the views and experiences of local business representative groups, local bank representatives and state agencies on access to bank lending. These will complement the information provided by the Mazars survey and ensure that ongoing and future Government policies on credit to SMEs are based on as much information as possible. This report summarises the action points arising from these meetings, as well as outlining a number of issues for further consideration. I have already attended a follow-up event in Limerick and I look forward to attending similar events in the other regions.
I am also confident that the new temporary partial credit guarantee scheme and the microfinance loan fund will be of assistance to many of the SMEs being declined credit at present. ”
Commenting on the importance of stakeholder engagement in policy formation in this important area Mr. Moran stated:
“The Department of Finance are committed to engaging with stakeholders, and as set out in our Statement of Strategy, we want to encourage stakeholder input into our decisions and actions. The regional meetings provided an excellent opportunity to listen to key Stakeholder in this vital sector of the economy. The Department of Finance will continue to engage with stakeholders, for example through the SME Credit Consultation Committee, to address the challenges in this sector.”