From hoteliers to estate agents, local businesses thrive in IT giant's shadow
FROM hoteliers to auctioneers, the multi-million euro investment by Intel was the hot topic among everyone strolling along the streets of Leixlip.
The Intel plant has generated a large amount of business for the Court Yard Hotel in the Co Kildare town, revealed general manager, Rivaaj Ramjan.
"We've seen an increase already. We're booked out," he said.
"With Intel growing we are growing as well. Around 8pc of our business comes from Intel.
"It includes people who come for short-term and long-term stays," he said.
"It's also great for social clubs and meetings booked into the hotel".
Mr Ramjan also said the company invested in the local community: "Around Christmas, we send up a chef to work in their canteen, which is great promotion for the hotel."
Leixlip Mayor Teresa Byrne described the Intel announcement as "a great boost for the town".
"Two years ago the unemployment rate was 12pc, it has now gone down to 9pc," she said.
"It's brilliant for the businesses in the area. All the hotels are full.
"This will benefit not only Leixlip but the whole of the country, all 32 counties," she said.
There were fears in 2009 that the company would pull out of the town and Ms Byrne praised Intel for its management.
"It means our young people will have prospects of getting jobs in engineering and IT.
"It means the 4,500 people who work there, their jobs are secure, they can get up with a light heart," she added.
Business partners Mick Wright and Tony Donnelly are directors of the ReMax auctioneer and estate agents in the town.
There are signs in their window urging landlords to get in contact with them, such is the demand now for properties in the area.
"When there were rumours of the company pulling out, some landlords rang us who were a bit spooked," Mr Wright said.
However, he said, there has now been an increase in interest from investors and he believes that more homes must be built to cope with the demand.
"Since last January (2013), prices are up by 10pc to 15pc," he said.
In some cases, they have noticed that construction workers often share a rented property.
Bernie Macari owns and runs two eateries in the town, Sam's and Highway 66.
Her family, originally from Italy, have run the cafes since 1975 and she said that the current recession was worse than the one in the '80s.
However, the trade that Intel workers provide has helped to rescue jobs in the businesses.