Monday 23 April 2018

Taoiseach opens network of offices to help start-ups

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A NETWORK of 31 new offices which will provide improved services to start-ups and small businesses across the country have been launched.

The nationwide system of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) will provide more staff, more funding and more services to small Irish businesses, was officially launched by the Taoiseach and Tanaiste along with the Ministers for Environment and Jobs.

The offices will incorporate the full range of State supports including Enterprise Ireland, Revenue, Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office and training bodies.

Speaking at the launch, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said; "The Government wants to make recovery local. That means supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs to create local jobs.  We will do this through the new network of LEOs.

"Jobs are the top priority of the Government and there has been progress in the past year 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," he added.

He also pointed to the work of the Credit Review Office, stating that 50pc of applicants who had been turned down by banks for a loan had the decision overturned by the Credit Review Office.

"That is a statistic that is pretty clear I think. In that you have a one in two chance of having the decision overturned in your favour," he added.

Neither Mr Kenny nor Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore would be drawn on a deadline for ongoing water charge negotiations, simply stating that the process of negotiation was ongoing.

Mr Gilmore conceded that he agreed with Environment Minister that it would have been better if the new water charge had been agreed by Cabinet three months ago.

However, he said the decision required special consideration as it involves families on lower incomes. He said he hoped the issues around metering and the ability of some people to pay would be resolved relatively quickly.

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