As our economy continues to recover many small business owners are looking to rejuvenate their business to ensure they take full advantage of the increasing markets. As with any opportunity there will be a level of investment required by the SME sector, however you are not alone in this process. There are over 80 sources of support available from various government bodies, all designed to assist the SME sector realise their goals and bring their business back to where it once was.
Understandably as there are over 80 different government supports for Irish start-ups and small businesses it can be difficult to identify the right support that suits your needs. In an effort to assist small business owners in this regard a new SME Online Tool has been created.
The SME Online Tool is easy to use as it takes you through 8 simple questions relating to your business, which enables it to identify which Government support body best meets your business particular requirements. These questions are as follows:
Question 1 – Where are you located?
This will allow the guide determine your local enterprise office and provide you with the relevant contact details for same.
Question 2 – What sector are you involved in?
To answer this question you will be given a number of various options and you may select more than one option as your business may trade within a number of sectors.
Question 3 – What size is your business?
- Micro (1-9 employees)
- Small (10-49 employees)
- Medium (50-250 employees)
Question 4 – What type of business structure are you?
- Sole Trader
Question 5 – What stage is your business at?
- Start up
- Fast growing company with potential for a global reach
- Established Business
Question 6 – Type of support required?
As with any growing business you may need support for more than one aspect of your business. To facilitate this you will have the option to pick more than one category under this question with categories ranging from working capital requirements to research and development funding.
Question 7 – Are you exporting?
The Irish Government have a number of specific grants for companies that are exporting goods. This question will allow the online tool to identify those supports relevant to export companies. While you may not be currently exporting, you may have to potential to become an exporter and this option is also available to you in the selection.
Question 8 – Have you applied for bank funding?
Some finance options, such as microfinance, are only available to companies that have already applied for and been refused funding from a bank. The categories under this question are:
- Yes, accepted
- Yes, rejected
- No, never applied
Once you have completed your application you will be provided with a variety of Government support bodies that best suit your business needs. Each option will provide you with links to the support provider’s website, along with contact details of someone within that organisation who can assist in progressing your application.
As with all application processes you may be required to provide supporting documentation with your application. Such documentation could include a business plan, cashflow projections or feasibility studies. In our recent blogs 5 Sources of Finance Now that The Economy is Picking Up and 5 Top Tips For Setting Up Your Own Business we reviewed a some of the financial supports available to SME’s. We also outlined the various supporting documentation which will be required to be prepared as part of your submission. Over the years we have successfully assisted clients in securing finance through the preparation of a business plan and cashflow projections. We can assist you in this regards. It is vital that you seek professional advice when preparing these documents as they are the main source of information you will be providing to those making the decision on whether or not to provide you with finance and/or support.
If you are interested in applying for support and would like assistance in determining which Government body would best match your needs please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.
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