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Galway Chamber launches Business Awards



Pictured at the launch of the eighth Galway Chamber Business Awards were, standing from left: Brian Sheridan Port of Galway, Kieran Shrahan, Vhi, Joe OÕNeill Galway City Council, Niamh Costello, Galway Technology Centre, Cllr. Niall McNelis, Maeve Joyce, Galway Chamber, Evin Cusack, AIB Bank, Mary Ryan, WestBIC, Sean Farrell, Bank of Ireland, Donnacha Cahill, Sculptor, and David Hickey, Galway City Tribune and Connacht Tribune. Seated: Mary Considine, Shannon Airport, Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Noel Larkin, Carmel Brennan, Judging Panel, and Conor O'Dowd, President of Galway Chamber.

Galway Chamber President Conor O’Dowd launched the organisation’s eighth annual Business Awards in the presence of the Mayor of Galway Councillor Noel Larkin at the Chamber’s offices this week.

Having welcomed the guests, the President began by thanking Shannon Airport –represented by Shannon Group Director Mary Considine – as the main sponsor of the Awards, as well as all of the category sponsors.

“This year, the theme for the Awards is ‘Barr Feabhais sa bhFiontraíocht’ or ‘Excellence in Enterprise’. This theme is central to the work of the members of Galway Chamber and our work in representing them. The spirit of enterprise has never been as evident as it currently is in Galway,” he said.

“We are seeing a wave of start-up and accelerating companies, side by side, and learning from, our established businesses, across all sectors. Likewise, our creative and artistic communities continue to excel,” added the President.

“This year’s Business Awards aim to recognise and celebrate companies of all sizes and sectors across the membership of Galway Chamber and, in the case of emerging enterprises, future members of the Chamber, on their successes and achievements.

“The Awards provide a valuable platform for the shortlisted companies and we hope they will follow in their predecessors’ footsteps, many of whom have gone on to be industry leaders,” he concluded.

The Galway Chamber Gala Ball will take place on November 19 in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway when the Awards will be presented.

Awards categories include Best Emerging Enterprise (open to non-members), sponsored by WestBIC/Galway Technology Centre; Best Large Company, sponsored by Vhi Healthcare, and Best SME, sponsored by AIB; Best Customer Service, sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

The remaining categories include Promoting Galway, sponsored by Galway City Council; Best Social Enterprise/CSR, sponsored by SCCUL, and the Special President’s Award, sponsored by the Port of Galway.

The 2016 Business of the Year, sponsored by Shannon Airport, will be awarded to one of the first six category winners.

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Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

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.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

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




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

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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