SMALL firms and companies across Kerry have been given an opportunity to showcase their businesses and products to thousands of Bank of Ireland customers during the bank's Enterprise Week promotion which took place in its branches across the country last week.
Bank of Ireland organised Enterprise Week to provide entrepreneurs and business owners with the opportunity to showcase their offerings at individual branches throughout the country while also availing of specially organised credit clinics offering advice on the bank's business loans and other supports for small business.
Over 50 Kerry businesses set up stalls in Bank of Ireland's Kerry branches over the course of the week with companies exhibiting their wares ranging from building and insulation firms and language and driving tuition centres to health clinics and tourist attractions including Tralee's Wetlands centre.
As part of the week a number of major seminars and conferences were also held across the country. One of the main seminars took place in north Kerry on Monday night when a conference on the implications of CAP reform for farmers was held at the Listowel Arms Hotel.
The seminar involved contributions from Peter Young who has written extensively on the implications of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and who presented an an update on the present position and the outlook for Irish farmers currently in receipt of payments under the Single Payments Scheme.
The seminar also heard from Pat Byrnes Bank of Ireland's Agri Specialist in the south-east.
NEW JOBS AT AER ARANN
AER ARANN, which operates flights between Kerry and Dublin on behalf of Aer Lingus, has announced the creation of 50 new positions, which will boost the company's workforce by 15 per cent, with several of these new jobs expected to be based in Kerry.
The jobs announcement comes as the regional airline outlined a plan to double its passengers numbers to over two million a year over the next five years.
The 50 new jobs will cover a range of areas, including flight and cabin crew, engineering and support roles and will bring the company's overall staff numbers to 370.
The airline has also announced it is to purchase eight new aircrafts, at a price of a €144 million, with one of these planes expected to operate on the Kerry Dublin route.
The Aer Arann announcement followed news that Kerry airport is to receive a grant of €378,000 to improve its air traffic control and weather monitoring systems and to upgrade the runway's guidance lighting.
The government is to provide 90 per cent of the necessary funding to carry out the work. Kerry Airport will receive €72,000 to provide a new traffic monitor in the control tower, €270,000 to provide a new MET weather system which will be integrated with an international database and €30,000 to install and new Airfield Ground Lighting control and monitoring system.
Kerry Airport will provide a further €42,000 from its own funds to caver the full cost of the work which is budgeted to be carried out this year.
The latest funding package brings the total grants to Kerry Airport in 2013 to €699,318.