Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D. addressed the issue of credit lending to SME’s at an event hosted by the Kemmy Business School, UL in partnership with Limerick Chamber which was held at the Kemmy Business School. The speakers included Robert Grealis, Interim CEO, Limerick Chamber, Dr Philip O’Regan, Dean, Kemmy Business School. Paul Kerr of the Credit Review Officer (CRO) outlined insights on lending decisions by banks.
Speaking at the event, Minister Perry said; "Now more than ever we need ambitious and energetic business owners, entrepreneurs and managers who can play a real part in driving a positive uplift in the economy. They are the job creators and innovators, and need to be encouraged and supported to have the confidence to make their mark and build a better future for themselves and this country. It is important that we continue to have a solution -focused approach to deliver a practical programme of actions that can achieve positive improvements in the financing landscape so it is more effective in meeting the needs of Irish businesses. We MUST dismantle unnecessary barriers that stymie growth and hold back investment."
Over 60 attended the event including business owners and managers, bank representatives, accounting and legal advisors together with representative from Enterprise Ireland, Shannon Development, Local authorities, Enterprise boards, the IFA, Department of Finance and Department of Enterprise and Innovation.
Limerick Chamber President, Gordon Kearney said; "Access to finance is critically important to business as it looks to sustain itself and invest in development and job creation. This evening's event has provided a forum where the banks and the business community have had the opportunity to better understand each other's needs and we hope this is only the commencement of an ongoing dialogue which will result in jobs growth and an improved economy."
Lecturer in Accounting & Corporate Governance, UL and event organiser, John Heneghan said; “Credit lending to SMEs is now emerging as a twin problem. There is concern in the SME sector that accessing credit has become very difficult, causing difficulty for those firms relying on credit to keep their customers serviced. What is also of concern however is the extent to which firms are not borrowing, as many of them seem to be concentrating on bringing down their debts. This is a threat to growth in the economy. We hope that bringing the key players together to focus on the problem in a structured fashion will suggest ways of tackling the issue.”