Council revamp grants
DUN Laoghaire Rathdown Council has committed to two new schemes in a bid to boost business in its catchment area.
It has agreed to fund half of the costs of revamping shop fronts in the locality up to maximum of €3,000. It is also launching another grants scheme which will reduce the costs of local authority rates for new businesses moving into commercial premises that have been vacant for six months or more.
SCOTTISH VOTE WARNING
The Royal Bank of Scotland and other Scottish-based financial firms might have to move their headquarters to England if Scotland becomes independent and joins the EU, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said.
"It is not clear in the European context that the domicile of the major banks up in Scotland would remain in Scotland given the location of head office-like activities in the rest of the UK," Mr Carney told British lawmakers in a parliamentary committee.
Insurance firm Standard Life and investment manager Alliance Trust have already started setting up some companies based in England in a precautionary move because of uncertainty over tax, regulation, currency and EU membership should Scotland end its 307-year tie with England.
LINDT TASTING SUCCESS
GROWING demand for luxury chocolates in Europe and increasingly the Americas and Asia should help Lindt & Spruengli to grow sales and profit margins this year despite high cocoa prices, the company has said.
The Swiss maker of Lindor chocolate balls and gold foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies posted a 23.7pc rise in 2013 net profit yesterday and confirmed its goal of 6-8pc sales growth in 2014.
PORTUGAL POSTS GROWTH
PORTUGAL'S bailed-out economy grew a revised 0.6pc in the last three months of 2013, accelerating from the previous quarter's 0.3pc expansion as consumer demand rebounded and exports rose, data released yesterday showed.
Exports, which have been the only positive element of the economy since the crisis started, jumped 9.4pc. The figures reveal Portugal's economy is on a stronger footing as it prepares to exit its bailout in May after its worst recession since the 1970s. "This is positive data and meets expectations. The main contribution is from a stabilisation in domestic demand," said Paula Carvalho, chief economist at Banco BPI.