Finance Minister Michael Noonan has today launched the "Supporting SMEs Online Tool" at the opening of the Limerick Local Enterprise Office today. 

The online tool is a cross-governmental initiative to help Irish start-ups and small businesses navigate the range of Government business supports that they could be eligible for. 

Currently, there are over 80 different development business supports across Government, totalling over €2 billion available to SMEs. 

In a specially commissioned Government survey of nearly 2,000 small businesses, 98% of respondents admitted they had a low awareness of public supports available to them. 

The survey also revealed that grants are the biggest topic of interest to small businesses.

The new online tool aims to improve levels of awareness.  There are currently supports from over 27 Government departments and agencies housed in the online guide. 

By answering eight questions on the new online search tool a small business will be able to find out what Government supports are available to them, information for accessing credit and the location of the nearest Local Enterprise Office should the business wish to discuss the outcomes provided by the tool. 

In Budget 2014, Minister Noonan announced an information campaign for SME business support, and he said the new online tool is "a central element of this campaign".
The Supporting SMEs Online Tool is now available at the Local Enterprise Office website.