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LEO launch

Local Enterprise Office Tipperary declared open for business by Minister for Small Business John Perry, TD 

30 June 2014

leo launch

Front row:  Tom Hayes, TD, Junior Minister for Agriculture,  Food & the Marine; Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary County Council, John Perry, TD, Minister for Small Business;  Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach.

Back row:  Eleanor Forrest, LEO, Cllr. Martin Lonergan, Mayor of Clonmel; Rita Guinan, Head of LEO; Seamus Healy, TD., Ita Horan, LEO; Jerry Moloney, Enterprise Ireland.

A major step forward in the provision of  unified support for job creation in Tipperary was taken today with the official launch by Minister John Perry TD of the Tipperary Local Enterprise Office at Ballingarrane, Clonmel.

 A large crowd comprising Elected Representatives, Members of the Oireachtas, Development Agencies, business community etc. gathered for the official launch of the Local Enterprise Office.  The role of the Local Enterprise Office is to promote entrepreneurship, enterprise and job creation and it will be the first-stop-shop for anyone starting a new business in addition to those wishing to expand or develop an existing enterprise.  The Local Enterprise Office is head quartered in Clonmel with front line services and a full staff compliment also available at the Civic Offices in Nenagh. 

 The event was attended by Ministers John Perry and Tom Hayes, Seamus Healy TD, Councillor Michael Fizgerald, Cathaoirleach and members of the new Tipperary County Council, Chief Executive Joe Mac Grath,  the Regional Director of Enterprise Ireland Jerry Moloney in addition to representatives from other support agencies such as Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, MicroFinance, Crafts Council of Ireland, Department of Social Protection, NERA and Revenue Commissioners.   Speakers at the launch included Michael Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Jerry Moloney,  Regional Director Enterprise Ireland, Minister for Small Business John Perry, TD and Rita Guinan, Head of Local Enterprise who acted as MC for the launch. 

In his speech Minister Perry stated that “The Government wants to make economic recovery local. That means supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs to create local jobs.  We will do this through the new network of LEOs.  Jobs are the top priority of the Government and there has been progress in the past year with over 1,000 jobs a week being created in the private sector. The vast majority of these jobs have been created in small, local companies.  It is these new companies, employing just a few people that make the biggest difference in driving a jobs recovery.  The LEOs will be in the front line in making recovery local.”

 The Cathaoirleach Michael Fitzgerald said that he was pleased and honoured to be selected by the Council as the first Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council – a council with 40 elected members, a county with a population of almost 160,000 people and a land area of 4,282 square km.  The reunification of our county after almost 180 years of division is a significant step for the county and we must now harness our unique strengths as a county to develop and create confidence in our future.  He went on to say that reform of local government is central to the changes being implemented by Government to restore stability to Ireland’s financial and economic position and Tipperary County Council is committed to making our contribution to national recovery”.    The Cathaoirleach said that “Council functions are now being delivered from the twin locations of  Clonmel and Nenagh, with Municipal Offices in Tipperary, Thurles and Carrick on Suir.  The Local Enterprise Office is headquartered here in Ballingarrane in Clonmel.  The presence of the LEO in Ballingarrane represents a further step in our commitment towards the development of enterprise along with the QUESTUM building located adjacent to the LEO, which we look forward to completion shortly.   The Council’s vision for the Local Enterprise Office in Tipperary is that it will be proactive, pro business,  pro customer and  consistent supported by a robust evaluation process.”  The Cathaoirleach welcomed the members of the Evaluation & Approvals Committee present and wished them well in their role noting that they would shortly adjudicate on their first batch of projects.

 Addressing the crowd of circa 70 business interests Jerry Moloney, Regional Director Enterprise Ireland stated that the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) operates under a Service Level Agreement between the Local Authority and Enterprise Ireland with exchequer funding coming through the Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland based in Shannon.    “I look forward to a close working relationship with Tipperary County Council into the future” Mr. Moloney concluded.

Rita Guinan, Head of Local Enterprise said that “the new Local Enterprise Office will be to the forefront in delivering business supports on the ground and will collaborate with other agencies and the private sector to maximize opportunities, funding streams, inward investment etc.  Indeed the 2 CEBs prior to their dissolution awarded grants of over €1.5 million and paid out over €1 million to almost 100 micro enterprises (firms employing 10 or less) over the past 26 months.  During that period 115 full time and 32 part time jobs were supported while 217 training courses with 2,308 participants were delivered.  213 individuals were mentored to address issues within their business.  The Local Enterprise Office will build on the progress made by the CEBs and will make every effort to incentivize business start up in the County.  Tipperary needs more start ups and we need more of the businesses supported to grow”.   Ms. Guinan concluded that “People who want to take that step, take that risk and start a business, deserve all the help they can get” and responding to the Minister’s address she said that “the Local Enterprise Office in Tipperary will endeavour to deliver on the promise of a new and enhanced service for local businesses.”   

Minister Perry was presented with a selection of locally produced food and craft products by the Cathaoirleach  to commemorate his visit to Ballingarrane House.

If you are thinking of starting or expanding a business or if you are experiencing difficulties in your operation why not contact the Local Enterprise Office today at Ballingarrane House, Ballingarrane Science & Technology Park, Cahir Road, Clonmel Tel 052-6129466   or  Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh  0761 06 5000,   e-mail leo@tipperarycoco.ie  web: www.localenterprise.ie/tipperary   and let’s talk business.

 

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