independent

Monday 18 February 2019

A Monday morning meeting that could have sown seeds to reap

Last Monday an important regional event took place in the Nuremore Hotel which will have bypassed very many of us.

It will not have grabbed any headlines or filled the airwaves but nonetheless if successful will have sowed the seeds for future economic growth.

A new Action Plan for Jobs for the Border region, including Louth is exected to be be published in July.

Part of this plan includes working with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, local authorities, local enterprise boards and the private sectors on strategies to accelerate the progress on creating more jobs and attracting more investment for County Louth.

The plan is modelled on the successful national Action Plan for Jobs that helped create 40,000 new jobs last year.

It focuses on how we can use Louth's business strengths to attract more companies, including foreign direct investment to the county.

How we can support more start-up businesses in Louth, further develop the county's tourism potential and make sure that our small and medium sized enterprises can grow more quickly.

There's no doubt that the border region suffered hugely during the economic crash with more than 4,900 jobs lost in Enterprise Ireland and IDA supported companies in the period 2008 - 2010. Thankfully, since 2011, over 3,400 jobs have been created in EI and IDA supported companies in the Border region. And overall, 14,300 additional people are back at work in the Border area since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012.

The stakeholder's forum presented an opportunity for the local business community to give their input on developing the region's new Action Plan for Jobs to Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash.

The Government are providing €250 million nationally over the next five years to help counties such as Louth achieve their full employment potentital, with €100 million to support start-up enterprises and enable local businesses to grow, develop and export, thereby creating more jobs.

It is easy to criticise government in many ways but these forums presented the business community with the opportunity to have an input into developing future regional employment policy and Ministers Bruton and Nash should be given credit for this initiative.

Irish Independent

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