EU acts to help SMEs

A new piece of legislation unveiled by the European Commission this week looks set to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland get to grips with environmental issues affecting their businesses.

The Small Business Act for Europe is aimed at helping small firms across the European Union – including Ireland – to grow their business via increased access to training, funding and other resources.

One aspect of the act is a new general block exemption regulation on state aid, which will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to receive aid for environmental protection purposes, among others.

Furthermore, the legislation also includes a set of measures that have been developed to help SMEs benefit from the single market and “turn environmental challenges into business opportunities”, the Commission said.

EC president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said: “Today’s Small Business Act is a step towards a Europe of entrepreneurs, with less red tape and more red carpet for Europe’s 23m SMEs.”

A recent Forfas report called on SMEs in Ireland to be more aware of the advantages of waste reduction and prevention.

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