LEO supported jobs increase
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) 2018 jobs figures, were announced last week at County Hall in Swords and revealed that 36,666 people are employed by 7,164 LEO supported companies.
This is the 5th year of employment growth for the LEOs, with 3,656 net jobs created in 2018. There has been an 11% jobs creation increase in current companies within the LEO portfolio since 2017.
Since the LEOs were established in 2014 their clients have created over 18,000 jobs in small businesses across the country. The LEOs also approved €18.2m worth of financial assistance to 1,259 projects. The net new jobs figure created in Fingal businesses with the support of Fingal LEO is 125, marking continued commercial success among small businesses in the region.
In 2018 the LEOs worked successfully with 171 of their client companies to help them transfer to Enterprise Ireland (EI) along with 796 associated jobs. This was up from 60 companies making the transition in 2017.
The LEOs have played a key role in preparing small businesses in Ireland for Brexit. This includes Brexit Mentoring, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporting grants for small businesses looking to diversify into new markets, the Brexit SME Scorecard, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for those selling online internationally and LEAN for Micro enabling small companies to trade more effectively and competitively.
The LEOs will also roll out the Brexit Customs Training across the country beginning in February which will enable any small business to learn about the customs import and export procedures that will be required post-Brexit to ensure they can continue to trade effectively with a country outside the single market.
Announcing the figures, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said; 'The Local Enterprise Offices in Local Authorities and supported by Enterprise Ireland are an integral part of the entrepreneurial eco-system in this country and the 2018 figures highlight the significant contribution they make to the Irish economy.
This is a fifth straight year of employment growth for the LEOs, helping indigenous businesses to create jobs locally. Not only are they helping small businesses plan, start and grow but they are also working closely with all 7,000 client companies on minimising their Brexit exposure, ensuring they are protecting themselves and maximising the opportunities that Brexit provides. The LEOs will continue to play a key role in 2019 and beyond ensuring that every small business has access to the support they need no matter what stage they are at.'
Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Fingal and Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; 'These figures highlight the important role that the Local Enterprise Offices are playing in creating jobs and sustaining small businesses all over Ireland.
'The LEOs are the first engagement any entrepreneur or small business owner should have when they want to develop or grow their idea or company.
'Every day LEOs help small businesses to get off the ground, overcome challenges, hire new staff, fund innovation, prepare for Brexit and plan for the future.'
He added: 'The range of supports on offer from the LEO will help anyone seeking to start or grow a small business through highly practical services such as professional business and management training, mentoring, networking opportunities, finance and much more.'
Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal County Council said: 'Local Enterprise Offices play a fundamental part in local authority efforts to support economic development in our areas. The LEOs translate policy into practice and delivery on the ground. Their impact is very clear on days like today when we step back and take stock of the very strong employment they help to create.
'But it is evident also on a daily basis, when talking to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country who are benefiting from LEO support and gaining the increased confidence needed to grow their businesses.'