Small to Medium Sized Businesses need a Bailout Plus a Senior Cabinet Minister - Tóibín
Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín TD has called for a bailout of Small to Medium Sized businesses in Ireland. An Teachta Tóibín stated;
"The lockdown has hit businesses really hard. Many of these businesses will be wiped out completely. Those that survived will be hit radically by ongoing debt. Small to Medium Sized businesses are the backbone of the Irish Economy. They employ the vast majority of workers.
The cost of this lockdown will be deep and lasting unless the government provide real supports for these business in their time of need. The biggest threats coming down the line includes large scale unemployment resulting from the many businesses that just won’t reopen.
Money owed by collapsing businesses would never be repaid. This will have a domino effect on many other businesses, the banking system, local authorities and Revenue itself. The state would have to fund long term social welfare for possibly hundreds of thousands of people for many years.
The businesses that do survive will be hampered significantly by servicing debt. The government have provided loans to struggling businesses but this not nearly enough and it wont fix the problem. Loans alone will slow down recovery and reemployment possibly for years. The Zombie banks of the last decade could be replaced with Zombie small businesses for this decade.
Aontú is calling for a multi billion euro Small to Medium Business Fund to be developed. We are also calling for a Small to Medium Business Cabinet Minister on a temporary basis for the duration of this crisis. Businesses should be allowed to draw down funds to meet otherwise unrecoverable crisis related costs only. The government could consider an equity swap for these funds for larger businesses to be repaid in the future when its feasible.
We have emerged from a decade when our main streets were lined by shuttered shops and closed businesses. Many of our small towns and villages suffered serious dereliction. We cannot allow so many Small to Medium sized businesses be thrown on the scrap heap and face another decade of have closed towns and villages."