Dáil Éireann - Volume 611 - 06 December, 2005
Written Answers. - County Enterprise Boards.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
99. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps he is taking to develop the county enterprise board investment programmes in the Border, midlands and western region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37539/05]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: There are 13 county enterprise boards operating in the BMW region. These boards deliver the micro-enterprise measure under the Border, midlands and west, BMW, regional operational programme 2000-2006. The BMW region’s Objective One status allows the use of comparatively better rates of incentives to business and assists the region in promoting and developing indigenous micro-enterprises.
The specific types of CEB assistance available to micro-enterprise from the measure is broken down between measure one — project support expenditure, including grants for feasibility studies, employment grants and capital grants, and measure two — soft supports activities such as business advice, management and e-commerce training, enterprise education and programmes aimed as assisting and promoting women in business.
I have allocated total Exchequer funding of more than €10.8 million to the CEBs in the BMW region for the current year. This represents an  increase of nearly 7% on the 2004 allocation. The CEBs apply this allocation to fund their activities in support of micro-enterprise, that is, businesses with fewer than ten employees. Their function is to develop indigenous enterprise potential and to stimulate economic activity at local level. In providing support to enterprises, the CEBs are required to have regard to the quality, local relevance, cost effectiveness and viability of proposals. They must also seek to avoid supporting projects that would displace existing jobs or businesses. In this regard, the boards are required to give priority to manufacturing and internationally traded services companies, which over time may develop into strong export entities. The local base of the CEBs which is responsible for the delivery of the micro-enterprise measure in the BMW region means that the projects supported are tailored to the particular needs of the local economic environment.
Dáil Éireann 611 Written Answers. County Enterprise Boards.