An agricultural engineering company from Ballinasloe and an organic tea blender based in Galway city were the overall winners in this year’s Galway County & City Enterprise Awards, which were announced last Thursday night.
N Barrett Engineering and Solaris Botanicals took top honoured with Alstrong, an engineering company specialising in soil aeration, named as the Best New Business.
The companies were presented with their Awards by Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Terry O’Flaherty; Mayor of the County of Galway, Councillor Thomas Welby and Mary Bennett, Chairperson of the Galway County & City Enterprise Board at a reception in the Town Hall Theatre.
The Awards are part of the County Enterprise Board’s overall aim to support and recognise companies which are continuing to grow and strengthen their product offerings to the Irish market while developing sales into export markets.
The companies were judged on areas including: business plans; marketing strategy; finance; the use of technology and innovation in the business and the entrepreneurial skills of the business owner.
The recipient of the Overall Winner in the Galway County category was Niall Barrett of N Barrett Engineering who designs and manufactures products to take the danger out of cattle handling and aim to become a one stop shop for cattle handling equipment.
The company has been in business since 2001 based in Ballymacward, Ballinasloe. They currently design, manufacture, market and sell products for cattle handling and aim to become a one stop shop for cattle handling equipment.
The Overall Winner in the City category was Joerg Müller for Solaris Botanicals. Solaris Botanicals is a family-run business based in Ballybane, specialising in the blending and preparation of Internationally Award winning Whole-Leaf Organic Teas. All their teas are blended and marketed in Ireland.
A Best New Business was awarded to Alstrong, an enginnering company based in Killimor run by Gerry Daly and Alan Winters. They get a cash prize as well as a plaque designed and made by woodturners, Ambrose and Brid O’Halloran, who also made plaques for the county and city winners.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
New President for Local Ireland
The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.
Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.
Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”
Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.
He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.
Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.
Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.
Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region
The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.
At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.
Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:
- Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
- Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
- Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
- Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
- Investment in people and skills
- Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
- Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth
Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless
One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.
In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.
Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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