Gort will form the focal point for a celebration of community achievements in South Galway at a two-day Enterprise Town expo later this month.
The commercial, social, agriculture and sports groups which form the fabric of this vibrant community will be showcased in a business expo on Friday week, May 15, followed by a sports and community expo the following day.
Celebrity guests over the two days will include Kilkenny hurling legend Tommy Walsh, Galway All-Ireland camogie hero Therese Maher, MEP Mairead McGuinness, singer Seán Keane and Connacht rugby player Jason Harris-Wright
The event is being organised as part of Bank of Ireland’s ‘Enterprise Town initiative which aims to promote business momentum for SMEs and the agriculture sector as well as the wider sports and social community in towns throughout Ireland.
The Business and Community Expo, which commences at 4pm on Friday week, will provide an opportunity for everyone in the community and outside to see the wide range of businesses operating around Gort, Ardrahan, Kinvara and surrounding areas.
Over 80 enterprises from tourism to agriculture and retail to communications have taken stands and many will be providing samples and special offers to all who attend.
The guest speaker at the business expo will be Mairead McGuinness MEP who will officially launch a new tourism and community website www.burrenlowlands.ie which is aimed at increasing the number of visitors to the area.
The expo will also include panel discussions on the topics of tourism and agriculture with guests such as John Ruddle, Chief Executive of Shannon Heritage, Suzanne Trehy from Fáilte Ireland, Tom Turley Regional Chairman of the IFA and Eimear O’Donnell of Bord Bia.
Saturday morning sees the opening of the Sports and Community Expo which will include over 40 exhibitors including local schools, charities, sports clubs and community groups from across the area.
This event will run from 11am to 2pm and will include special guests Tommy Walsh; Therese Maher and All Ireland winner; Jason Harris-Wright and Sean Keane.
Entertainment will be provided by, amongst others, the Tommy Baker Puppet Show, Coole Music and the Marie Gavin Irish Dancing School.
Local clubs will play an Under 8’s hurling and camogie games on the Astroturf pitch with medal presentation by Tommy Walsh and Therese Maher.
There will be lots of fun for all the family including face painting and free Linalla ice cream.
The Connacht Tribune will be there on both days with some memories of the past and capturing occasion for the following weeks’ papers.
Damien Gardiner, Branch Manager at Bank of Ireland Gort said “I encourage everyone to get involved in our Enterprise Town initiative.
“Since we launched the initiative the response from the whole community has been fantastic and I am looking forward to the two events for what will be a great weekend to showcase the very best that Gort and the area has to offer”.
Admission is free for everyone and all events will take place in Gort Community Centre.
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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