The Small Business Advice Programme has said that according to it’s latest figures over 240 SMEs in Cork, the South-East and Mid-West have benefited from the programme. The programme has been running for 18 months was set up to come to the aid of struggling small businesses and aims to give them the help they need to ride out the recession through partnering them with volunteer advisors.
Following an initial six month pilot in Cork, the programme was rolled out to the South East to facilitate applications from companies in Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary in May 2010. It expanded to the Mid West to cover companies from Limerick, North Tipperary and Clare in October 2010.
Small Business Advice Project Manager John McSweeney said: “The common theme coming across from the people seeking assistance is that they have nowhere else to go. These are sole traders, small retailers and service providers who are not members of any representative organisations. They feel disenfranchised and are delighted that a service that meets their specific needs in a practical way is available free.”
“The majority of business we help have less than 6 persons employed and a turnover of less than E500,000 per annum. 50pc are either sole traders or a partnership. We work with business from a wide range of industries which include services, retail, manufacturing and wholesale. We have 75 volunteer advisors on our panels in the three regions.” he said.