Enterprising Dundalk hoping for success
Dundalk FC are putting the town on the map, not just at home but in Europe, and now Dundalk is hoping that its enterprising spirit will be recognised in the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town awards.
The winners of this national competition are being announced at an awards ceremony in Kilkenny on Thursday, when the successor to the current title holder Tralee is announced.
Louth is well represented in the competition, with Blackrock and Dunleer competing alongside Dundalk.
Pat McCormick, President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes the judges saw that Dundalk, 'isn't just a single industry town, that we are open to new directions, keen to develop and ready to re-imagine the possibilities inherent in any enterprise.'
'I hope they have recognised the drive that the community has to develop, to support each other and to strive for new opportunity."
Back in September, the judges were taken on a tour of the town so that they could see for themselves the interaction of the commercial and social life in Dundalk.
According to Pat, this tour gave them the opportunity to see 'the engagement which local clubs and communities have with the industries, small and large, which support the life of the community as well as the economic well-being of the town and area.'
Taking part in the competition was ' a real eye opener', he said as they saw how many groups and people are pushing along with projects ranging from small craft based start-ups to businesses with global reach.'
To win a prize would give the committee, 'another platform to promote the town and region to those who are looking for a place to establish new business, to invest in existing businesses or to base themselves in a time of uncertainty.'
Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office, Louth said the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the business community is very evident and the Local Enterprise Office are always ready to help by providing a range of supports including training, mentoring and grant aid.'
Paula Harmon, Bank of Ireland Head of Co Louth said 'SMEs, Startups and community organisations are the backbone of the local economy and a significant driver of the country's success and spirit. Local business owners and community groups want to see their town doing well, and there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to motivate people to put their best foot forward.'