Strokestown businessman and member of Strokestown Business Association, Emmett Corcoran has proposed this week that Enterprise Ireland should positively discriminate in favour of Start-up Businesses from the west of Ireland when assessing businesses for their various accelerator programs.
“Enterprise Ireland does some fantastic work with rural start-up businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services industries. Programmes such as New Frontiers see’s many start-up businesses get some much needed funding and mentoring support to develop their businesses.”
“The Local Enterprise Offices too play an important role in getting new businesses up and running. However, when it comes down to Enterprise Ireland graduating businesses into major funding rounds such as the Competitive Start Fund which see’s Enterprise Ireland investing €50,000 in exchange for 10% of a start-up business there should be some positive discrimination in favour of rural businesses.”
“I know from experience that entrepreneurs from the west of Ireland take great pride in their localities, their commercial success is often shared with those in their communities by way of job creation. There is a special connection between rural entrepreneurs and their homes. I believe that if EI were to have greater consideration for the location an enterprise is located and in addition to the merits of a venture, give weight to the geography of a business we could see greater sustainable job creation occurring in the west.”
“Of course, I am not saying that projects without merit should be funded for the sake of regional balance but for those on projects on the border-line that might just be worth a shot specific resources should be set aside to give them a chance.”
“I am a firm believer in the creativity and innovation of rural entrepreneurs and have no doubt that if a policy of this nature was to be adopted by Enterprise Ireland that it would pay dividends very quickly. The initial investment could be as small as €15,000,000 and could have a significant impact on the economic fortunes of rural regions. I also believe EI would see a return on their invest over time,” concluded Corcoran.
Member of Strokestown Traders Association and Strokestown based businessman, Emmett Corcoran says that the business community is Strokestown is expanding.
“This year has seen a number of new businesses open in Strokestown, and I am aware of a number of new businesses with planned openings over the next number of months. In general things are improving. The existing businesses, many of whom are involved in the traders association, say they are over the worst of the economic downturn. Those who managed to stay afloat are doing quite well now,” said Corcoran, he continued “Of course being in business in any small town in Ireland is not easy, there are plenty of challenges but the people of Strokestown and the hinterland are good to support local businesses and business people.”
Strokestown Traders Association in conjunction with Strokestown Town Team has a number of measures planned to lift the economic fortunes of the town even further over the coming number of years according to the Strokestown based Web Designer.
“In the New Year we have hopes to expand the Traders Association, bringing into the fold a wider variety of businesses and business people. There will be an open call in January for new businesses to come to the AGM and get involved. There are a lot of projects and initiatives to support new businesses planned this coming year and we will need all hands on deck so to speak.”
Strokestown, the counties 6th largest town, has retained a wonderful streetscape, and has taken very proactive measures to address dereliction in the town. Various groups in the town, in conjunction with Strokestown Tidy Towns, have painted derelict buildings, erected fresh artwork in the windows of closed shops but to name only a few measures.
“The Tidy Towns group this year commissioned a report with the assistance of funding from Coillte’s Community Benefit Fund. That report describes, amongst other things, possible uses for vacant and derelict buildings and how to address them,” explained Emmett, before concluding “Over the next number of years it is our intention to put these properties back into use, let it be as commercial units or as residences. We will work closely with Roscommon County Council to ensure that the social and commercial vibrancy of Strokestown continues to improve. It will be by working with one another and not against one another that we will drive growth and job creation in our small rural towns and villages and we hope that Strokestown can be a good example of cooperation and collaboration delivering results and jobs.”
Strokestown Traders Association will be holding a General Meeting in January 2017 to recruit new members and set out a plan for the coming year. Further details will follow in the new year but all business people in the community, regardless of what type of enterprise they operate are asked to attend and contribute.
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