independent

Friday 26 April 2019

Innovation needed – Chamber

Lorcan Kinsella of New Ross Chamber of Commerce said there is an opportunity for a thriving taxi business in New Ross.

'I am surprised that there is (an issue) because I remember there was always a good taxi service in New Ross. Apart from Christmas time, whatever is after happening now there seems to have been a shift in the business model for taxis themselves.'

He said retirements could also be a factor.

Mr Kinsella said more activities for young people which don't involve alcohol would also increase the footfall in the town at weekends. 'Even for people to go out and have an alcohol free disco. Licensing laws are restrictive now. It shouldn't stop any taxi business (from succeeding). You are looking at your Friday, Saturday, maybe Sunday. It is the rest of the week that's the issue. Is it down to the people's entertainment habits or the entertainment infrastructure in New Ross?'

He said more innovative thinking may be needed from existing or prospective business owners. 'I know that for many going out dancing, whether it be a disco in the Eighties or a rave in the Nineties was a way of letting off steam. It is part of a community's lifeblood. There is a challenge around the alcohol issue in terms of licensing. There is an opportunity within that space to provide a go to place, even on a Thursday night. The weekend starts on Thursday. There needs to be alternative options for people to go enjoy themselves beyond sitting in a pub. There has to be some level of more (added value), whether it's live music. It's a case of whatever is actually relevant for teenagers today.'

Mr Kinsella said he has brought his children to Campile and couldn't believe the activity in a rural parish like Campile when a teen disco is held. 'It was full to capacity on a Friday night. Then to come back into New Ross and the streets are quiet and there was no obvious activity going on. I know now that teenagers who used to go to those discos are no queueing up to go to Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford as we don't have the facilities here for them.'

He said New Ross Chamber can promote night-life businesses and alert people to events taking place on weekend nights in New Ross. 'The entrepreneur who looks to see that gap in the market. We are there to support that business but we can't open businesses ourselves. We will do everything we can do to make it a success.'

Mr Kinsella said a vibrancy needs to be created in the town. 'I think we are making inroads. It's more important now than ever because one of the biggest infrastructure in our history is being built. There is a greatest sense of confidence. People might think it's only being experienced in Dublin. I know there have been several businesses which have reopened and others have closed, which is a natural life cycle. Even since Christmas there have been new businesses opening.'

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