Time-limited grants and supports for businesses dealing with soaring costs, a reduction in the Capital Gains Tax rate and an increase to the entry point threshold for the higher rate of tax are among the calls being made by the Family Business Network ahead of the Budget.

The organisation representing family-owned firms - which employ close to a million people here - said the crisis in the cost of doing business here was putting many of those companies and jobs at risk.

It calling for "decisive action" to assist small and medium sized businesses in the Budget, which will be unveiled less than two weeks from now.

It believes a failure to act could plunge the country into recession.

Among the measures it is proposing is the implementation of a programme of direct supports to businesses where their energy costs are becoming "prohibitively expensive" as well as a reduction on the VAT charged on their electricity bills.

It believes the tax warehousing scheme - introduced as part of the supports to deal with Covid restrictions - should be extended beyond its scheduled end-date of May 2023.

The Network has also called on the Government to temporarily reduce employer PRSI.

It would also like to see a reduction in the rate of Capital Gains Tax - currently set at 33% - and an increase to the entry point threshold of the marginal rate of taxation.

It proposes gradually moving it out to €50,000.

"After withstanding many challenges over the past two years and facing rising energy costs this winter, these firms need an economic environment in which they are allowed to support and sustain jobs," John McGrane, Executive Director of the Family Business Network, said.

"It is in this context that we urge the Government to introduce targeted measures such as a time- limited energy grant and a commercial rates waiver to help reduce the rapidly rising costs of doing business," he said.

"These realistic measures in the upcoming Budget will be vital if family businesses are to weather a winter of crippling inflation," he added.