Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has highlighted the worrying plight of small and medium businesses along the border who are struggling with the impact of increasing energy costs with the Taoiseach in Dáil Eireann.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “The economy of Cavan-Monaghan and the wider Border region is heavily dependent on SMEs. These enterprises are concerned about the increasing costs facing businesses. When such enterprises commence, their first export markets are Northern Ireland and Britain, but there are additional costs due to Brexit. There have also been supply chain difficulties in sourcing products for manufacture or addition to manufacturing and for export.
“In my recent engagements with SMEs, particularly over the weekend, they were very concerned by the increase in energy costs. They are appealing for very strong Government support to assist them through these particularly difficult months. Many of them fear that their businesses will not be viable if current energy costs remain. In his recent visit to Cavan, the Taoiseach engaged with other public representatives and me. He will recall that we raised SME concerns in this regard and the need for support through these difficult times, particularly with costs.”
In response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated: “The Deputy is correct in saying that many companies depend on the Northern Ireland or British market in terms of initial exports of goods leaving Ireland and going into the UK market. This is why it is important to us that the UK economy is strong.
“If the UK’s economy is strong, Ireland’s economy is strong. Energy costs are significant and that is why we have brought in the TBESS. We have also brought in a range of other guaranteed loan schemes to try to help, right down to the micro company level, and to see if we can ensure that we keep companies operating. We will keep the situation under review because the nature of the costs is significant and severe.”