The Taoiseach officially launched the Wicklow Local Enterprise Office (LEO) on Thursday last at a packed event in Wicklow County Campus where he met with local businesses to share his vision for economic recovery driven by local enterprise.
Formerly the Wicklow County Enterprise Board, the LEO Wicklow is part of a new nationwide network of 31 LEOs which will deliver an improved system of local enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country – with more staff, more funding, and more services being provided.
The new services offered by the LEO Wicklow means that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of County Wicklow will be able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example Wicklow County Council, Enterprise Ireland, Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office, training bodies – in one easily accessible location within the local authority.
The establishment of the LEOs will mean that all categories of business – including sole traders, micro businesses and small and medium sized companies – will have access to Government supports and advice.
The Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD said:
“The Government wants to make recovery local with a specific focus on regional towns like Wicklow Town, Bray, Arklow and Rathdrum. The new Wicklow LEO is all about supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs to create local jobs. Jobs are the top priority of the Government and the past year has seen progress 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 so that's why we see the LEOs as crucial to driving a jobs recovery in Wicklow”.
Speaking at the event the County Manager, Mr Eddie Sheehy, welcomed the expansion of the local authority’s role in economic development:
“Wicklow County Council is committed to putting economic development at the heart of our vision for creating a vibrant County to live and work. Combining the efforts of our economic development unit with the services we can now offer through the new LEO, we will achieve a platform for sustainable job creation through local enterprise. In addition, with the support of our partners in IT Carlow, locating the LEO in Wicklow County Campus will be a key driver in realising the vision for County Wicklow of a Centre of Excellence in Enterprise, Education and Innovation.”
If you have a business idea, or if you are running or starting a business in County Wicklow, the LEO should be your first point of contact. Supports available include information, business advice, mentoring, training, financial supports for eligible business, access to local authority business services and access to information on other state supports and services relevant to business. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the office or call 0404 30800.
Deputy Simon Harris, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Paul Smith Propriator of The Mystic Celt, Andrew Doyle TD.
Skillsnet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Sheelagh Daly, Head of Local Enterprise, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, John Brophy and Eimear Ní Bhroithe from Carrig Solutions
Yvonne Whitty of Cathy's Spelt for Health, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Catherine Whitty of Cathy's Spelt for Health and Sheelagh Daly Head of Local Enterprise
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Catherine Howard, Business Advisor of LEO Wicklow
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Vibeke Delahunt and Louise Fleming, Senior Enterprise Development Officers
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Sheelagh Daly, Head of Local Enterprise