Posted by Seán Kyne TD in News.

A new Strategic Investment Fund to boost lending to small-to-medium sized local businesses is being developed by Finance Minister, Michael Noonan TD.

The Minister was speaking at a breakfast briefing in the Galway Bay Hotel on Saturday to launch the Fine Gael Galway West Local Elections campaign.

Introduced by Fine Gael Galway West TD, Seán Kyne, Minister Noonan addressed an audience of over 200 and confirmed that the fund, which will also be leveraged to support infrastructure projects, will evolve into a Strategic Investment Bank supported by the Government.

During his address the Minister pointed to the success of several sectors of the economy including the multinational sector, a sector which Galway continues to excel in by attracting significant international med-tech, IT and pharmaceutical companies.

The Agri-business sector with its recent success and expansion has been assisted with a number of tax reliefs and incentives which the Minister explained are the result of a departmental-led review he launched. Measures have been put in place, the Minister stated, to enable the next generation of young farmers to easily and inexpensively take over family farms and bring renewed enthusiasm, energy and innovation to the sector.

Minister Noonan also emphasised the importance of the tourism sector as a sector which distributes benefits right across communities. The Wild Atlantic Way which encompasses Galway City and Connemara will, assured the Minister, build on the success of The Gathering and realise significant economic potential for the city and county.

From left: Josette Farrell (Athenry–Oranmore), Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, Cllr Peter Feeney (Athenry–Oranmore).

The briefing concluded with closing remarks from Senator Hildegarde Naughton after which Minister Nooan formally launched the campaign for the fifteen candidates standing for Fine Gael in the Local Elections on Friday, 23rd May.