DISSOLVING the City and County Enterprise Boards and replacing them with Local Enterprise Offices will help more businesses get off the ground, Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan has said. The reform is a key plank of the Action Plan for Jobs and will help to foster and support local enterprises.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Irish economy and here in Kilkenny we are very fortunate to have a very strong food and craft sector in particular. The Government wants to ensure these small businesses, many of which are family run, can access the support, information and advice that they need, at a convenient local level.
“We are essentially establishing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for small businesses in each local authority. This will mean that local knowledge can be combined with the expertise of Enterprise Ireland to give businesses the best possible start and opportunities to grow.
“We can expect very swift progress on this. Early next month, a Centre of Excellence will be established in Enterprise Ireland for micro and small business supports. From January, Local Enterprise Offices will be set up in local authorities, providing local businesses with the expertise they need.
“The aim of this reform is very straight forward; we want to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up new businesses, and we want to make sure they have the support they need to survive. Small businesses are the backbone of the Irish economy. They employ over a third of all people working in Ireland today, which underlines just how important they will be in tackling our unemployment problem.
“We are also aiming to increase the number of start-ups by women, and we want to increase exports by the micro and small business sector. Ireland’s strong reputation as an exporting nation is well defined; so we are ensuring that small businesses get help and advice on how to enter export markets across Europe and further afield.”
Supports for small businesses will now be delivered locally throughout Kilkenny and right across the country. This will ensure businesses have access to the best possible rang of supports at all stages of their development, Deputy Phelan added.
“We have been tasked with completely rebuilding the economy and reforming the way we do business on both a small and large scale. I am confident that the new network and the Local Enterprise Office here in Kilkenny will help harness innovation, grow businesses and create jobs.”